A/V Room









How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days (12A)

Review by: Jack Foley | Rating: Two

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Director's commentary; Mapping Out The Perfect Movie; Deleted scenes with director's commentary; Location/production map.

THE battle of the sexes is given another fresh spin in How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, a light and breezy romantic comedy that actually emerges as one of the better ‘date movies/chick flicks’ of the year so far.

Based on the humour book of the same name (which adds ‘The Universal Don’ts of Dating to its name), the film finds Kate Hudson’s gossip columnist, Andie, picking up Matthew McConaughey’s advertising executive and ladies’ man, Benjamin, with the intention of ‘losing him in 10 days’, so that she can write her next column.

The only trouble is, he has taken a bet with his colleagues that he can stay in a relationship for more than 10 days in a bid to land a lucrative advertising campaign.

So while Andie will stop at nothing to force her fella to ditch her (deceiving him into attending a Céline Dion concert and asking him to buy her a drink a minute before the end of the Knicks game), Benjamin is pulling out all the stops to remain loyal, leading to all manner of uncomfortable situations, from which the hapless couple eventually emerge in love.

While sticking rigidly to formula, and being hopelessly predictable to boot, How To Lose a Guy… emerges triumphantly from the current glut of dreary rom-coms because of one key thing - chemistry.

Both also possess heaps of charisma, with McConaughey handling the challenge of portraying the frustrated male with aplomb, and Hudson flitting nicely from scheming manipulator to the ditsy, ‘over-eager’ babe who drives Benjamin so insane - even christening his member with a female name!

Director, Donald Petrie, also manages to keep things fairly lively throughout, as the battle of wits intensifies, while the screenwriting trio of Kristen Buckley, Brian Regan and Burr Steers deserve praise for generating plenty of laughs, tapping into the manipulations of the dating game well and then taking them to ever-more far-fetched extremes.

McConaughey and Hudson have bags of it and their enthusiasm translates well to the audience, so that the hopelessness of certain situations seldom seems as contrived as it might.

The supporting cast, including Adam Goldberg, Kathryn Hahn and Annie Parisse, also deserve credit for adding to the all-round enjoyability of proceedings, particularly as so many recent rom-coms have provided such horrific secondary players.

On the downside, the final third of this tale of double-deception feels somewhat laboured, while the movie becomes so obsessed with its games of one-upmanship that it occasionally forgets to portray how the couple come to fall in love along the way - a point which may leave the more discerning viewer feeling, well, deceived.

But then this is less about challenging the viewer, than simply having fun, providing a suitably fluffy night out for fans of this sort of thing.


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