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How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days(2003)
Andie Anderson, the how-to girl for Composure Magazine, agrees to write a firsthand account of all the things women do to drive away men; she has to find a guy, make him fall in love with her, then get dumped--all in 10 days. But little does she know that her target, ad agency hottie, Benjamin Barry, has just made a high-stakes bet with his boss that he can make any girl fall in love with him in 10 days. So while she's trying to lose him, he's doing whatever it takes to keep her!
For more about How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and the How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Blu-ray release, see How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on August 31, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.
Starring: Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey, Adam Goldberg, Michael Michele, Shalom Harlow, Bebe Neuwirth
Director: Donald Petrie
» See full cast & crew
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Blu-ray Review
The Chick Flick takes a nosedive, and it doesn't take 10 days to realize it.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, August 31, 2009
Sounds needlessly vicious.
The Romantic Comedy landscape, like that of any other genre, is littered with few successes and many failures that all follow the same basic formula but vary greatly in quality of script or chemistry amongst its leads, the two most crucial elements to be found in any "RomCom." 13 Going on 30 gets it right; its got all the clichés and the predictability that go along with the genre, but it's also got a fantastical element about it that makes it fun and different from the doldrums of the typical genre outing. Its leads enjoy great chemistry and play their characters with verve and believability even in the midst of the rather unbelievable story line and, most importantly, the love they develop seems completely genuine. No doubt it's the genre standard-bearer, and if that film has an opposite, a movie that gets it so completely wrong, it's How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Though bathed in cliché and predicability just like 13 Going on 30, it lacks that spark -- that sense of believability in the midst of its absurd plot -- and absent is any sort of true chemistry amongst its leads, either of which spell certain doom for a movie like this, both of which make it borderline unwatchable.
Andie (Kate Hudson, Bride Wars) has a Master's in Journalism but finds herself working for Composure magazine, writing two-bit fluff columns that don't allow her to tap into her full potential as a writer and thinker. When her friend is dumped, she's given the opportunity to write a story that exposes the things women do to drive men away, and it will be titled, no surprise, "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days." Meanwhile, advertising executive Ben (Matthew McConaughey, Reign of Fire) is set to land a deal with a high-end jeweler, but his scheming co-workers are on the prowl to find a way to steal the client from under his nose. It just so happens they've become privy to Andie's work on her new column, and when Ben claims he can make any woman fall in love with him, they challenge him to prove it with Andie and, should he lose, they'll land the client instead. Ben and Andie become entangled in a quickly-developing relationship with Andie trying her hardest to make Ben dump her and Ben doing all he can to make Andie fall in love with him. It's just a question of which one will crack first and if true love can somehow be salvaged from a relationship built on lies.
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days features a decent idea, so-so execution, and a sluggish pace, not exactly a winning combination. Perhaps most damaging to the film is the latter; at nearly two hours in length, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days plods along for a good 20-30 minutes more than required of it, and in the process the added layers kill any swagger and charm that might have been present in a more tidy and smoothly-edited film. The movie goes into overkill mode, but seemingly deliberately so. The whole of the experience, at least taken from the male and, by extension, Ben angle, allows Andie to wear down audiences that, in turn, experience the agony of her (deliberate) nagging, overzealous, untimely, clingy, and flat-out annoying ways. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days grates on the nerves, just like Andie, never relenting in its attack on the audience and the result is a collection of scenes that might otherwise be funny but, generally, lose their merit thanks to sheer overkill. There are a few good moments here and there, but if the pacing doesn't ruin them, the lack of chemistry between McConaughey and Hudson does. Never once do they seem even remotely believable as a couple falling in love behind-the-scenes of their respective schemes, and the lack of credibility between the two as an on-screen couple ruins the mood in even the more dramatic scenes in the final act.
On top of everything else, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days may be the most contrived movie in the history of Romantic Comedies. The set-up is absurd and the old "suspension of disbelief" line takes on an entirely new meaning here. It's Hollywood, however, so "anything goes" also fits, and the important thing is that the movie makes audiences laugh along the way, and the nitty-gritty details of how it arrives at its destination matter little in the grand scheme of things. Still, it would be easier to overlook its one-in-a-billion setup had the rest of the movie actually worked. As it is, it's just another nail in the coffin of an effort that shows a fair amount of promise on a one-page summary but doesn't work as a two-hour film. Though not unexpected, there's nary a shred of suspense to this one. There's no secret to where the film is going and, worse yet, it never once strays from the series of expected twists and turns that populate these sort of movies. That's OK when the material and the cast work, but here, it's just another reason why How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is one of the lesser RomComs in a decade littered with halfhearted genre pictures, but even they more often than not feature some kind of redeeming value not found here.
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Blu-ray, Video Quality
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days hedges its bets on Blu-ray and yields a passable 1080p, 1.78:1-framed transfer. Though it wavers between fairly sharp and slightly soft, the image enjoys a fair film-like quality that's helped along by a decent sense of depth, background detail, and a fine layer of visible film grain. Colors appear just a tad bit underwhelming; they never pop off the screen with any sort of vibrancy but they aren't devoid of life, either. Fine detail is never inadequate but there's never a sense of absolute clarity and lifelike texture, either. That's the story of the entire transfer. There's no one area that suffers, but there's no one area that stands out, either. On the downside, there's some noticeable dirt and other artifacts to be seen throughout, and flesh tones waver between fair and slightly red in appearance. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days delivers an adequate 1080p transfer that's suitably good but certainly doesn't challenge for a spot in Blu-ray's top tier of transfers, either.
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Blu-ray, Audio Quality
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days makes its Blu-ray debut with a bland Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack. The sounds of the city as heard during several exterior shots produce what proves to be the best overall listens in the film. Busses squeal and clank down the street, traffic flows from side to side, and pedestrians hurriedly scuffle along through the concrete jungle. It's a fairly rich sonic experience, not interchangeable with real life but certainly a fair representation of what one might experience on a busy New York street. Otherwise, this one comes off as front-heavy, listless, and uninteresting. Even the basketball sequences don't create much of an atmosphere and fail to seemingly place the listener in amongst the spectators as they cheer on their hometown Knicks in the NBA Finals. Office scenes also fail to deliver the goods with little going on in the background to set the mood. Music plays with the expected level of clarity across the front, and dialogue reproduction is suitably good. It's not at all unexpected that How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days serves up a rather pedestrian listen. It's fine for what it is and, other than a boring sound design, offers up no real problems to speak of.
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days arrives on Blu-ray with the requisite array of Chick Flick bonus materials, the package headlined by a commentary track with Director Donald Petrie. He delves straight into the look of the film, speaking on the construction of the opening credits and the juxtaposition between two sets seen early in the film. He goes on to cover the expected bases, speaking on why he's enamored with the cast, setting up the primary plot, shooting particular scenes, assembling the basketball segments, and more. How to Make a Movie in 2 Years (1080p, 16:54) features Michele Alexander and Jeannie Long, authors of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, speaking about how the book came about. The piece moves on to feature a look at how the book became a movie. Why the Sexes Battle (1080p, 5:00) features a series of interview snippets with experts that discuss the evolution of how men and women choose one another and how those evolutionary observations fit into the movie. Girls Night Out (1080p, 5:15) once again turns to authors Alexander and Long for a question and answer session. Also included is the music video "Somebody Like You" by Keith Urban (480p, 3:43) and a collection of five deleted scenes (480p, 9:30) with optional director commentary.
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
A contrived and unimaginative Romantic Comedy, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days fails to play out as even the least bit interesting despite a halfway decent premise. Hindered by an overlong runtime, bland characters, and a lack of romantic chemistry between the leads, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days doesn't hold a candle to 13 Going on 30 or even several of the fledgeling midlevel RomComs (Made of Honor, New in Town) that have come and gone over the past several years. Fans of the film should be pleased with Paramount's Blu-ray release. The disc sports a midlevel transfer and soundtrack that both get the job done, and the studio has included a standard-sized supplementary section for good measure. Worth a rental.
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