During our adventure into the realms of cheesy romances, we have delved into the 90’s with You’ve Got Mail and the 80’s with Sixteen Candles. So now it is only logical that we keep this decade motif going strong and delve into the 2000’s. The 2000’s was an interesting time to say the least. After the cynicism of the 90’s comes the feeling of ‘who gives a shit?’ People stopped giving a shit so hard that they just threw up their hands, took their ball, went home, and waited for 2010’s to come around and see what it had in store for us. This was the time when Scary Movie, Disaster Movie, and really anything that has the word ‘Movie’ attached to it were born. This was also the time that the screen was graced with Freddie Got Fingered, From Justin to Kelly, The Wicker Man remake, and anything by Uwe Boll. Truly it was a time where ‘Ah fuck it’ was a little on the high end after the party that was the 90’s ended. Rom Coms and the cheesy romances was no exception to this rule and thus we have How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Based on a book by Michele Alexander and Jeannie Long and starring all time professional mellow good looking dude Matthew McConaughey, and professional blonde Kate Hudson, this movie truly is a staple of early 2000’s cheesy romance.
The story of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is about a quirky as a romantic comedies can get. Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) is a young woman who works for a very popular Women’s How to magazine called Cosmo… I mean Composure (of course we don’t want to get sued now). The articles are all the same, giving women advice in 5-10 easy steps. Andie excels at her job, but of course yearns for more. She wishes to write more serious articles including politics, religion, economy, and so forth. Of course her smarmy boss turns down her article about the ‘Peace in Tajikistan’ and instead is given the idea to write an article entitled ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.’ If she does well with the article then she will be given free range to write more serious content. (Seriously though, the Peace in Tajikistan?) So Andie sets out on her quest to find a poor guy who she will torture by doing ‘everything that guys hate in a relationship’ within the span of a week and a half. The ‘poor bastard’ who is the subject of Andie’s test is none other than our male lead Benjamin Berry (Matthew McConaughey). Ben is an advertising executive who is currently working on a sales pitch for diamonds. He theorizes that a woman in lust wants chocolate, but a woman in love wants diamonds. (Because consumerism!) When questioned about his knowledge on love, Benjamin bets that he can get any woman to fall in love with him before the ball to show off the new diamond line which in ALL COINCIDENCES is in ten days. So the powers of the romantic comedy gods that be, bring Benjamin and Andie together and hilarity ensues.
Nice Jab at Magazines Like Cosmopolitan
Considering the fact that it is in this critics opinion that magazines like Cosmopolitan offer some of the worst relationship/sex/how to advice out there, I do enjoy it when a movie takes a jab at them. Considering that the magazine that Andie works at is just Cosmo with a new name, I get the feeling that it was the directors intention to attack these magazines for their shallow ‘5 Easy Steps to the Complexities of Human Relationships’. A small pro, but one that I did enjoy.
Three Cheers for Consumerism!
Not sure if it fits in the con category, but we should raise a glass and give three cheers to the message of consumerism that this movie sends out. Cosmopolitan and magazines like it, not so much considering the fact that the movie seems to be attacking them and the articles that they post. But the concept of Benjamin’s work and the way it is presented screams ‘money buys love’ mentality. Being an advertising salesman, the message underlining the movie itself is that if you really love someone you have to get them a diamond to prove that you love them.
The only reason it is not a con is that the message isn’t jammed down our throats and McConaughey’s character back story is he is a salesman so it kind of fits. But it is still a big ‘eh’ area for me.
McConaughey and Hudson Do Not Have Good Chemistry
It does nothing to help the film that Ben and Andie work in two of the most shallow areas of romance that could possibly exist (but we will get to that in the next section), but even then McConaughey and Hudson just do not have good chemistry. Maybe it is because Andie is constantly trying to be this vapid flighty woman-beast that everyone is supposed to hate and Ben is attempting to be this suave ladies man who can get ANY woman to fall in love with him in ten days, but even when the two are acting like themselves such as the scene where Andie meets Ben’s family, they do not feel like they have any real connection other than this coincidence of all coincidences idea/bet that they had at the same time.
It is one of the romantic comedies that does not do the romance much justice. This relationship is pretty much doomed from the start to end horribly. Which even then could be masked if McConaughey and Hudson had decent chemistry together. But they do not! The relationship and the acting feels incredibly forced and as a result, severely hurts the film.
The Mere Concept of the Film is a Shallow Premise
When it all comes down to it, this is a movie where a guy makes a bet that he can make any woman fall in love with him and a girl taking the challenge of getting rid of a guy in ten days by being the most annoying person she can be… Yeah these are both terrible and shallow people who really do not learn anything by the end of the movie. Granted, they both have the big reveal and reconcile… But this does not take away from the fact that they were both willing to play with someone’s emotions for their own personal gain… Congrats to both of you! You are both sociopaths who just so happened to find each other.
The premise lends itself to being the most shallow version of cheesy romance, one with no substance to it. Other than a shared love for the New York Knicks and a fanatical dedication to their work that extends into the realms of obsession, I cannot see any compatibility for Andie and Ben. Even near the end after the obvious reconcile and happily ever after finish, I can’t help but think that this relationship is doomed to blow up in a huge ball of chaos and hate as they chuck each others possessions out of the window.
Bottom line when it comes to the cheey romantic comedies, this film is more on the end of the comedy then it is on the romance. The leads do not have any chemistry and the premise is based on a vapid and shallow concept. It has its moments but overall it isn’t worth more than a once over watch.
Final Score 1.5/5
Thanks to Shaila Meeker of Free App Maven who gave me the idea for this review. If you enjoyed this review than please like and subscribe for more. Also return Thursday for Brandon and I to tear into our Mosted Hated Movies of All Time on the latest episode of the Nerdiest Talk Show on Earth.