Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Movie Review - How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days

This would have been a fairly run-of-the-mill romantic comedy, but the initial premise of the film is good and the supporting cast are superb, which raise it a little above average. Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) is the "How To" girl of a top women's fashion and lifestyle magazine, working on her latest assignment - "How to lose a guy in ten days". This basically entails going out with someone and then driving him away by doing all the wrong things that women do in relationships, and then writing up her experiences. (What she really wants to do is write about things that really matter, like politics, religion, poverty etc, but her editor (played with some relish by Bebe Nevwirth) is having none of it.

Meanwhile, Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConnaughey, playing basically the same character as in The Wedding Planner, without the purity of heart) bets that he can make any woman fall in love with him in ten days. Winning this bet will give him the biggest contract of the advertising agency that he works for. (This is a diamond tycoon, and one of their chief advertising media for it just happens to be the magazine where ... works.)

No prizes then for guessing who ends up dating who.

This is a funny movie, quite sentimental but not overly so. It isn't exactly riotous, but there are several funny moments in it, which will give your kidneys a thorough workout. The plot is very predictable, which isn't a huge problem, but it is a bit of a shame that they didn't make more of the initial premise. However, while it is hardly earth-shattering, it is a very enjoyable film.

Matthew McConaughey gives a very accomplished performance, and is wonderfully suave, long-suffering or bold whenever the script calls for it. Kate Hudson does pretty well in her role, though I can't help but think that some other actresses might have made more of it. The supporting cast is absolutely superb, with Kathryn Hahn (Michelle, Andie's friend, colleague and occasional stand-in shrink!) and Adam Goldberg (Benjamin's friend and colleague) particularly standing out. Robert Klein as the advertising company's managing director, is also very good. I don't think you could have had a better supporting cast than this.

The thing that makes the thing work really well is the fact that, despite the fact that neither Benjamin or Andie are doing things for the right reasons (initially), you still do care what happens to them. And some of the things that Andie does in order to try to get dumped really make you cringe! (Including insisting that he get her a soda during the final minute of a basketball game, taking him to the Flick Chick Marathon (and insisting on talking all the way through it), and fooling him into going to a Celine Dion concert (he thought it was going to be a basketball game). Oh, and pretending to be a vegetarian after letting him make a wonderful meal, talking baby talk to him, and various other really horrible things that don't really bear thinking about. (Needless to say, if she's been my girlfriend, I think I would have strangled her by day 3!)

It's not a brilliant film by any means but if you like romcoms, it's well worth watching. It's enjoyable enough to overcome the slightly humdrum nature of how the plot develops (after a promising start).

1 comment:

Jenn said...

One of my favorite movies!!