How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

In the idyllic New York of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, the Knicks are good enough to get into the NBA finals, the main characters have Stan Lee-like names like Andie Anderson and Benjamin Barry, and everybody is beautiful, happy, and mostly white. Based on the book by Michele Alexander and Jeannie Long, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days uses as a gimmick the fact that the main characters are playing against type. Andie (Kate Hudson, Dr. T & the Women, The Four Feathers) is doing everything she can to try to get rid of Ben, and Ben (Matthew McCounaghey, Frailty, Reign of Fire) is doing everything he can to get Andie to fall in love with him.

It's all a set-up, the type that exists only in romantic comedies. Andie writes "how to" columns for a women's magazine, and her current article is titled "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," and is a diary of everything women do wrong in relationships. Ben is in advertising, and wants to get on a large diamond account. However, people don't think he can relate to women, so his co-workers challenge him to get a woman to fall in love with him in ten days. So the entire relationship is built on a lie by both parties.

How to Lose a Guy spends much of the rest of the film being pretty annoying. Andie goes on the attack, doing all the wrong things; calling too often, redecorating his apartment, acting manic and more. Ben sucks it up, counting down the days in the process. As the ten days progress, each person becomes more frantic, because Andie is worried that her tactics aren't working and Ben feels Andie is becoming more psychotic. In the process, the two are actually falling for each other. Over the course of the film, somehow each person's secret will be revealed and the two will break up before coming back together again.

It's nothing radical. In fact, it is very predictable, but gets by on the considerable charisma of Hudson and McCounaghey. McCounaghey isn't called on to do much except look alternately sexy and exasperated. It's a very laid-back role that plays towards his strengths (yes, he has some). The screenplay, by Kristen Buckley and Brian Regan (102 Dalmatians), and Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down) calls on Hudson to act like a maniac at times, and these are not appealing. What is nice is when director Donald Petrie (Miss Congeniality, My Favorite Martian) takes to time to ignore the gimmick and have Andie and Ben actually get to know each other. The two have nice chemistry together, and the cutsey-poo perfect nature of the movie are enough to make it barely serviceable.

Haro Rates It: Okay.
1 hour, 50 minutes, Rated PG-13 for some sex-related material.

Back to Movies