out of Five
Running time: 117
Above-average romcom that succeeds thanks to an amusing script and a healthy dose of chemistry between its two leads.
You have to hand it to Matthew McConaughey – after starring in perhaps The Worst Romantic Comedy Ever Made (The Wedding Planner, Bad Movie-fans), he is at least willing to give it another go.
Fortunately, however, this time round, some thought has gone into both the script and the casting – both leads are allowed to be funny and the result is a better-than-average romcom that even gets in some subtle digs at the genre.
It All Begins With A Favour…
Kate “Daughter Of Goldie Hawn” Hudson plays Andie Anderson, a magazine
columnist for ‘Composure’ magazine, with her own column, entitled ‘How To…’ In order to bail her friend out of an awkward situation, she agrees to write a column in which she’ll ‘lose a guy’ in ten days, by making all the mistakes that put guys off in the first stage of a relationship.
So far, so good. However, the guy she picks is advertising executive Ben Barry (Matthew McConaughey), who, unbeknownst to her, has been pushed into making a bet of his own, in order to win a big advertising contract – he has to make her fall in love with him in – yes! - ten days…
With a set-up like that, it’s not hard to get laughs and the first half of the film is pretty funny as Andie runs through her escalating list of ‘don’ts’ (making him miss a crucial basketball moment, filling his house with soft toys, nick-naming his penis ‘Princess Sofia’, calling his mother, buying him a ridiculous – and incontinent - dog) and becomes increasingly exasperated when Ben fails to dump her.
However, the film wobbles a bit before the end, largely because there isn’t quite enough material here to warrant a running time of nearly two hours. That said, despite an annoying singing scene towards the end, the movie still manages to pull off a suitably satisfying romantic finish.
The main reason it works is that Hudson and McConaughey have a certain
amount of onscreen chemistry that carries the film through its weaker
moments. Hudson, in particular shows that she’s very much her mother’s
daughter when it comes to comic timing and she’s extremely appealing here, even when behaving like the Girlfriend From Hell.
McConaughey, obviously, can do the laid-back Southern charm thing in his sleep and part of the film’s appeal is in seeing just how long it will be till he cracks. There’s also good support from Adam Goldberg as Ben’s best friend and Bebe Neuwirth, clearly enjoying herself as Andie’s editor.
In short, How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days is worth seeing, if only because it’s better than any of the other crappy romantic comedies currently doing the rounds (Maid In Manhattan, Just Married etc). It’s also safe to say that Kate Hudson is a good bet for the “new Meg Ryan / Queen of RomCom” tag and on the strength of this, that may not be a bad thing.