How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days was released in 2003. OMG! That’s almost 20 years ago!
It’s a romantic comedy about Andie (Kate Hudson) who is working on a story on how a woman can lose a guy in 10 days, while Benjamin (Matthew McConaughey) is on a challenge to make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. And of course, unwittingly, they have selected each other for their respective tasks.
How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days is currently streaming on Netflix.
Is it worth the watch? What to expect from this movie (Non-Spoiler Review Section)
With this kind of premise for a movie, you know that it is basically going to be a battle of wits between the male and female leads, on who can one-up the other. The things that Andie (Kate Hudson) comes up with are things that would send any normal man running so fast in the opposite direction that he’ll leave skid marks behind, but of course Benjamin (Matthew McConaughey) forces himself to stay because it’s only “10 days” and he has that bet to win. Some of the things she comes up with are hilarious, some borderline evil, but all are good ideas for ladies to have in their pocket if they ever need to ditch a guy (yes, I’ve kept them in a little pocket in my mind for future reference).
Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey have excellent chemistry, and they’re both good-looking leads (although to be honest, I was never a fan of McConaughey, whether in terms of his looks or his acting. #sorrynotsorry).
This is a romantic comedy, so the ending is exactly as what you thought it would be, so no surprises there. To be honest, although I already saw the way the story would end a mile away, I am personally not too fond of how it got there because it didn’t feel like it was empowering to women, but hey, that’s probably just me.
If you like romantic comedies, then you would definitely want to add this to your watch list if you haven’t already seen it. But it’s neither life-changing or trend-setting so not really a must-watch; and at 42% (at time of writing), Rotten Tomatoes agrees with me.
Stop here if you don’t want to read any spoilers!
My Honest Review ***WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD***
Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) is a writer with a woman’s magazine, and for her “How-to” column, she was assigned to write an article about the mistakes women make at the early stages of a relationship, based on her friend and colleague, Michelle (Kathryn Hahn) who keeps driving men away through her emotional neediness and constant clinginess. Andie’s boss, Lana (Bebe Neuwirth) told her to work on an article on “How to lose a guy in 10 days”, so Andie decides to find a clueless guy as the guinea pig, and she will mimic Michelle’s behaviour.
Cut to Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey) who works in an advertising agency. Determined to beat his female co-workers to a large diamond account, he takes on the challenge of making a lady fall in love with him in 10 days thrown to him by his boss.
They end up choosing each other, partly by design, as Benjamin’s female co-workers had been clued in by Andie’s boss about her assignment when they were at the magazine office earlier the same day.
The next chapter of the story of course is about Andie’s attempt to get rid of Benjamin, and she does every single thing she could think of to drive him away, by doing not only what Michelle has done, but even more. No sane man could possibly stay on with Andie’s antics, which included naming his private part “Princess Sophia”, forcing him to go to the concession to buy her something during the last few minutes of a nail-biting basketball game, and interfering with his poker night with the boys. However, Benjamin is on a mission to win the bet, so he puts up with it all, much to her chagrin. After the poker night fiasco, he caves and breaks up with her, much to her relief, but his male co-workers reminded him of what was at stake, and he reconciles with her before she leaves the building.
They even went for couples therapy, with Michelle acting as the fake therapist, and in spite of all the rubbish that the ladies cooked up and threw at him, he still put up with him.
Andie follows Benjamin to his family home one day and met his family, and really bonded with them as well as him, and as with all romantic comedies – she falls in love with him.
She accompanies him to the diamond company launch, where Benjamin’s boss had told him to bring a woman he has managed to make fall in love with him, in order for him to win the account. The boss, upon speaking to Andie, finds that Benjamin had succeeded; but his female co-workers, determined not to let him win, lied to his male co-workers that Andie had known about the bet all along. So they blubber along to Andie, asking her to keep up the lie to allow Benjamin to win the bet.
Feeling humiliated and used, she makes a big scene and they both publicly break up at the party.
Andie writes her article for the magazine, but it was not the assignment she was given. Her boss however loves the article, saying it was better than expected, and told Andie that she now had the freedom to write anything she wanted?
“Anything?” Andie exclaimed excitedly. Well… anything that involved fashion and shoes. Which was not what Andie wanted to write about, which was politics and other serious topics. (Although, to be honest, I am not sure whether she was really expecting that kind of freedom in a woman’s magazine that had never published those kinds of articles.)
So Andie quits her job.
Cut to Benjamin’s office, where Andie’s article in the magazine was thrust into his face, and he reads about how Andie admits to “losing the only guy she has ever fallen for”. He flies over to the magazine company, but Andie had already quit, and is right at that moment, leaving to Washington for a job interview. As we all know, romantic comedies are never logical, and must always have setups for grand gestures, and this was the perfect setup for Benjamin to chase her taxi as she heads towards the airport, forcing them to stop dangerously at the side of a bridge while he asks if the article she wrote was true. Of course it was, and so they kiss, and without her permission, he tells the taxi driver to take her things back to her home, essentially forcing her to give up her possible dream job in Washington.
So, overall, typical rom-com chick flick with very predictable ending. If you like romantic comedies, well, this one is a pretty standard funny feel-good one.
Of course, it worked back when it was released, because in 2003, Matthew McConaughey was at the peak of his heartthrob-ness, and everyone was into cheesy romantic movies with happy endings. Personally for me though, I had never really liked Matthew McConaughey, I didn’t think much of his acting skills, and never found him good-looking, so his presence in the movie did nothing for me.
For me, I found the outrageous actions that Andie did really funny, and I was storing them in my head in a list of things to do if I ever wanted to get rid of a guy. But I didn’t like how the story ended, because obviously Benjamin got his way, with actually making a woman fall in love with him even though he didn’t really want to stick around, and winning an account because he couldn’t stand the thought of a couple of women (yes, admittedly quite scheming, but so was he) getting a huge account at his firm. So yes, Benjamin needed to be the winner, not Andie, because his win would have the happier ending.
And then for him to just cancel Andie’s trip when she hadn’t even really agreed to drop it? Excuse me? What if that was her dream job and dream location? What if she was happier there? If you want to be with her so bad, you could potentially uproot yourself and move to where she would be, right? Why not let her explore that job and let her decide for herself whether she wanted to move to Washington instead of making a decision on her behalf by telling her “you can write anywhere you want” (that’s what he said to her in the movie). Not exactly a supportive statement from a male, exactly in this day and age of women empowerment.
But of course, this is a romantic comedy, and we must look past misogynistic endings because we need the two protagonists to be happily in love and ride off into their happily ever after.
And luckily for Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey, there is enough chemistry between them that sizzles rather than fizzles, allowing the movie to actually succeed.
Overall, it works as a romantic comedy for the usual chick flick lovers.