Feb 122003
Authors: Eric Todd Patton

There is a certain formula that romantic comedies follow and eventually it gets so monotonous that one romantic comedy is indistinguishable from the next. But every once in a while, there is one that makes the venture to the predictable end entertaining and actually humorous; this is one of them.

“How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days” stars Matthew McConaughey (“U-571”) and Kate Hudson (“Almost Famous”) as a pair of modern-day star-crossed lovers. Andie Anderson (Hudson) writes for a girl magazine but dreams of writing for a more credible source. Ben Barry (McConaughey) is an ambitious advertising executive that wishes to land a gig with the diamond market. But what stands in their way? Bosses that do not believe they are capable of achieving anything outside of their comfortable niche.

So to prove themselves, they each tackle assignments their bosses use to test their abilities. Andie must lose a guy in 10 days and write a “How To” on it, while Ben must find a girl and make her fall in love with him to prove that he can sell himself to anyone. Do you see catastrophe? Well, you do not have to be Miss Cleo to predict the outcome of this one.

The appeal of this film is that we get what seems to be, almost, a romantic comedy for guys. Men may be scared to admit it, but while Anderson was supposed to be satirizing the behavior of a girl in a relationship, we know that girls act unpredictably and some times irrationally in relationships. Most often they do not even realize it. And that is humorous for me to watch.

The supporting cast added to the success of this story. Adam Goldberg (“Saving Private Ryan”) plays Ben’s best friend and business partner, Tony. This guy is hilarious. He played Chandler’s psychotic roommate Eddy on TV’s “Friends,” and every time I see him in a movie, he delivers. The downfall in the supporting cast was the women. Bebe Neuwirth (TV’s “Cheers”) is annoying; Shalom Harlow and Michael Michele playing competing ad executives are absolutely terrible. Those two give the worst performances I have seen in romantic comedies.

I enjoy McConaughey. I have liked just about everything he has been in and he seems to bring romantic comedies down to reality with a very down-home attitude. Hudson is one of the most adorable faces in film. I fell in love with her in “Almost Famous” and she does a brilliant job at playing a girl trying to lose a guy. I would have been out of that relationship so fast if any girl acted the way she did.

Overall, this sticks to the basic formula of romantic comedy. However, I laughed more than I thought I would, making this film accomplish what these types rarely do. So I cannot give this a low grade because of the humor; more importantly I cannot give this a low grade because of Hudson, so I will give this a B-. Not low, not high.

Starring: Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey, Adam Goldberg and Bebe Neuwirth.

Directed By: Donald Petrie

What You Need To Know: better than recent romantic comedies but still formulaic.

Grade: B-

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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