Thursday, July 4, 2013

Movie Review: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Performances and comedy make it fun
Cons: Story is deeply flawed yet enjoyable
The Bottom Line
Deeply flawed story
In overall fun movie
Worth watching cheaply

Dueling Bets

I've got to admit, I enjoy certain romantic comedies.  They're predictable as can be, but if done well, they can be fun.  I'd always been curious about How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.  Despite itself, I found myself drawn into the story.  Unfortunately, the story does help sink the film.

Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) works for "Composure" magazine as their "How to" columnist.  Her real passion is meaty stories about politics and world problems, but since she has to appeal to the magazine's audience, she writes about relationship problems and shoes.  Her latest assignment is an article about all the things women do to drive their man away.  And she has to get first hand research for the piece, so she has to find a guy, hook him, and then turn into all the things that drive men away.

Meanwhile, Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey) is fighting with some co-workers for the new diamond account his advertising firm has just landed.  He knows he can do an outstanding job, but they say since he never spends more than one night with a woman, he doesn't know them.  To prove he knows women, he agrees to a bet - he can bring any woman they chose to a company event in 10 days, and she will be completely in love with him.

The co-workers, knowing about Andie's assignment, set the two of them up.  And that first night, everything goes well.  But as Andie descends into psycho girlfriend mode, Benjamin begins to question whether he can last the whole 10 days.  Who will win the bet?  Will Andie and Benjamin ever speak to each other again when it is over?

My main problem with this movie involves the story.  For starters, why does Andie need to lose a guy first hand?  The entire article comes about because a friend and co-worker has lost yet another boyfriend.  Since she already seems to know what this friend is doing wrong, why does she need first hand research?

Since this is a romantic comedy, I'm sure I'm not spoiling anything to reveal that Benjamin and Andie fall for each other as the movie progresses.  But all I could think as I watched the film was why?  Oh, I get it on Andie's side since Benjamin is sweet and puts up with everything she throws at him.  But I truly don't get what he saw in her.  Yes, there are a couple scenes that are very sweet, but I still would have run away after those 10 days were up and never looked back.  The climax does little to wrap all this up, and in fact leaves a few other things dangling.

Having said that, I have to confess I found myself drawn into the story and rooting for Andie and Benjamin to fall in love.  So the movie did something right.  While seeing the flaws in it, I couldn't help but root for the characters to overcome them.

And the movie is funny.  While some scenes boarder on the embarrassment humor I don't care for, I still laughed at some of the things Andie did and Benjamin's reaction to it.  Frankly, that's one reason I did enjoy the movie.

Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey completely sell the movie.  Their performances also make it easy to root for a happy ending for their characters.  The rest of the cast is fine as well, but really, this is their movie.

The logical part of my brain was bothered by the serious flaws, but the emotional part was drawn into the story and enjoyed the movie.  As a result, I have to give a mixed rating to How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.

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