Wednesday, February 12, 2003

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

Posted By on Wed, Feb 12, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Composure is the country's fastest growing women's magazine, thanks to sporting articles like "I Lost my Virginity, Now I Want it Back!" But staff writer Andie (Kate Hudson) would rather compose articles that'll bring peace to Pakistan instead of ridding women of the mysteries behind Botox for beginners and deadly pedicures. To wow her boss (Bebe Neuwirth) and save a friend from public embarrassment, Andie agrees to hook a guy, do everything wrong until he's unhooked, then write an article on "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days."

Meanwhile, in the parallel reality of up-and-coming advertising firms, Ben (Matthew McConaughey) isn't satisfied in the "beer and sneakers" division and sees diamonds as a way out. But the girls at the firm won't let the jewel gig go so easily. In front of their boss (Robert Klein), they cook up a bet: If Ben can ensnare and love-smite a girl, of their choice, then he gets the diamond account. Guess who they pick?

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is a shameless, romantic laugh train actually based on a book (by Michele Alexander and Jeannie Long) and fashioned by Donald Petrie, the director who brought us Grumpy Old Men and Miss Congeniality. It stars one of Hollywood's newest twinkies, Kate Hudson, who is love-bug cute and sparkling all over the screen, but not quite "there" yet. Hudson has a lot of flower power to outshine as the daughter of "Laugh-In" bikini babe Goldie Hawn (who's still got it, by the way). Hudson needs a little more time to hone her comedic skills before she can charm us through all the watery spots in the film's hot-laughs and cold-jokes script.

On the masculine end, this is old-shoe material for McConaughey, a surviving veteran of The Wedding Planner. Donning his regular-guy-who-you-wished-lived-next-door, dimpled good looks, he can hold his own, but shouldn't be expected to salvage the film's impatiently glossed-over plot setup and bad karaoke climax.

If you go to How to, you'll laugh, you'll cringe and, chances are, you'll leave with a stupid smile on your face, in spite of the film’s shortcomings.

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