Main cast: Kate Hudson (Andie Anderson), Matthew McConaughey (Ben Barry), Kathryn Hahn (Michelle), Annie Parisse (Jeannie), Adam Goldberg (Tony), Thomas Lennon (Thayer), Michael Michele (Pamela Spears), Shalom Harlow (Pamela Green), and Robert Klein (Phillip Warren)
Director: Doug Petrie
Wait, is this a romantic comedy? Then where’s the romance? As a juvenile battle of the sexes thing, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is hilarious. As a romance, it is simultaneously insulting as well as baffling. Also, this movie is miscast. Put Kathryn Hahn in Kate Hudson’s role and vice versa, and then we’re talking good casting. Ms Hahn’s excellent comedic timing will make her far better for the role of Andie. But that’s just me. Maybe people out there prefer to see a stereotypically blonde type playing the lead in their romantic comedies.
Matthew McConaughey plays Ben Barry, an upcoming ad executive who will get the diamond ad gig he wants so badly (“Ladies, frost yourself!”) if he makes good this bet that he can make any woman falls in love with him in ten days. At the other side of town, inspired by her friend Michelle’s latest romantic fiasco, Andie Anderson proposes to her fashion mag chief ed that she will write a series on how to lose a guy in ten days. As it happens, her magazine is in talks with Ben’s ad firm for some ad campaign blitz, so Ben’s rivals learn of Andie and set things up so that Ben chooses Andie as his victim and she he. Let the fun begin.
It is really funny to see Andie proceed to employ every well-known methods to drive a man up the wall. She names his penis Princess Sophia, place teddy bears and houseplants all over his bachelor pad, interrupt his boys’ poker night, calls him up and just acts clingy and codependent, befriends his mother (and does that very well), and generally acts like that comic strip Cathy woman on an insane rampage. Ben is forced to take it all in because he wants her to love him, remember? And he falls for her. Maybe because he likes getting his testicles rammed and bruised bloody by the point of her high heels, I don’t know. I laugh my head off watching Andie, but I can imagine men in the audience taking a few sharp and deep inhalations throughout the movie.
But ultimately, just when the movie needs to turn really nasty, it suddenly turns chicken and proceeds to clumsily wrap things up in an insulting way. Long time fans of romantic comedy may know this one: the woman changes her mind, the man proceeds with the deception. The deception is unmasked, the woman quits, the woman runs away, the man gets her back, and she gives up her job and dreams for love. It infuriates me to see the movie give Ben the upper hand to make a condescending speech to Andie as if he knows what is best for her. He is in deep when it comes to BS as much as she: what gives him the right to act so high and mighty, especially when he gets what he wanted from the deception? Why should she be the one who’s entirely sorry?
I’d be so much happier if these two people, upon learning of their deception of each other, will just laugh it off and then try to start all over. Or, they bond over the consequences of their antics. They don’t know each other to fall in love, but the movie insists that they do and smacks me in the face with an insulting wrap-up to an otherwise fabulously spiteful movie.
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is very entertaining diversion, but it loses me alright in its last ten minutes of pure insulting drivel BS. Oh, and it doesn’t help that Mr McConaughey has all the range of a baked potato.