A review of “How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days” by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: ***

Rating: PG-13 for language and sexual situations

Run Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

 

 

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned wager to get the prurient juices flowing.  That’s the premise behind this tasty romantic comedy, featuring the battle of the sexes in its most fanciful light.

Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) is the “How-To” girl for Composure Magazine, as in “How to Talk Your Way Out of a Parking Ticket” or “How to Use the Best Pickup Lines”.  Composure’s specialty is breezy fashion, diet trends, and salacious gossip (think real-life Cosmopolitan), but Andie’s inner journalist yearns to write more seriously about politics, art, and foreign affairs.

An inner-office bet stimulates Andie’s stagnant literary state.  While counseling a lovelorn girlfriend and co-worker, Andie claims that men can’t handle a clingy female.  Her brassy boss (Bebe Neuwirth) overhears the conversation, and deploys Andie to run with the concept for an upcoming column:  Hook a guy, entice him into taking the sentimental plunge, and proceed to utilize the classic female “mistakes” to drive him away - all in less than 10 days.

Across town, ad agency stud Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey) is making a high-stakes gamble of his own.  Desperate for a swanky diamond account that his co-workers insist requires the feminine touch, Ben offers to prove that he has the inside track to the soft sex.  His claim?  He can persuade any girl to fall head-over-heels in love with him – in just 10 days.

Working at delicious cross-purposes, Andie and Ben bump into each other at a local watering hole.  It’s lust at first sight, but love (and ultimately rejection) is the objective.  Can Andie’s one-woman homage to the Exorcist scare away a man who desperately requires her devotion to reach the apex of his game?

Happily, “10 Days” is smooth sailing, based almost entirely on two simple factors – great chemistry between the gorgeous leads, and a snappy, witty script that never falters from its modest intention: to amuse and entertain. Hudson is as cute as a button; thoroughly convincing as the happy-go-lucky stalker-ette who just can’t shake her guy.  McConaughey is the ideal foil – in it for the long haul no matter how manipulative the female tactics.

Forgive me for suggesting such a tasteless generalization as “chick-flick”. But in the interest of full disclosure, I admit that I screened the film in a roomful of male critics….and I was the only one laughing.