How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Director: Donald Petrie
Writer: Kristen Buckley, Brian Regan, Burr Steers
Based on: Michele Alexander and Jeannie Long’s comic
Cast: Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey, Kathryn Hahn, Annie Parisse, Adam Goldberg, Thomas Lennon, Michael Michele, Shalom Harlow, Robert Klein
Seen on: 21.1.2018

Andie (Kate Hudson) writes a How to-column for a magazine and she’s in need of a new idea, especially since she wants to write something of more substance. She may get the chance to do so if she writes a column on how to lose a guy in 10 days. Meanwhile ad executive Ben (Matthew McConaughey) has to prove that he knows what women want. He proposes a bet, promising to make any woman fall in love with him. His colleagues accept – and point to Andie as the object of his plot. As they both work towards opposite goals, their dates are quite tumultuous.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days was suprisingly charming and didn’t veer into the condescending romantic direction that movies about covert bets usually do. It’s not a revolutionary film, but I enjoyed it.

Usually when there’s a film about a couple that gets together for a bet, it’s the guy who does the betting and leaves the gal in the dark (and yeah, it’s usually a hetero thing). That always gives him an advantage over her, pushing the power balance even more in his favor. It was refreshing that in this case, they both had their agenda, leveling the playing field.

And they both had to learn and grow as characters. Actually, they both had the same lesson to learn, and it’s not just the guy learning that he has feelings, a trope that uses women as objects for men to learn off (and it’s not the man teaching the woman a lesson either).

That’s not to say that the film is entirely unproblematic, but they did manage to leave out quite a few problems that other films would have stumbled into. That makes the film sweet enough to be thoroughly enjoyable. Hudson and McConaughey have nice chemistry with each other and make it easy to root for them.

It probably won’t become a film I revisit often, but it’s not a film that I would have to zap away from if I stumbled on it.

Summarizing: Cute enough.

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