Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Director's commentary; Mapping Out The
Perfect Movie; Deleted scenes with director's commentary; Location/production
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 Donts of Dating to its name), the film finds Kate
Hudsons gossip columnist, Andie, picking up Matthew McConaugheys
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
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.