How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Directed by Donald Petrie
Written by Kristen Buckley, Brian Regan, Burr Steers
Starring Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey


How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

Let's see. This film is 112 minutes long. Would I recommend that you a) watch the film or b) sit while your friend scrapes his fingernails on the blackboard for that length of time? No problem; b) is the correct answer, because you will find it much more enjoyable. In fact you will find almost anything short of death more enjoyable than a); this is one of the most offensive films I have had the misfortune of watching in my thirty-five years as a critic.

Start with the unbelievable, unbearable premise: Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson), feature writer for a magazine that is Cosmo by another name, is to write a story about first seducing and then driving away a man in ten days. Simultaneously, as they say, Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey), creative director at an ad agency, makes his bet that he can make a girl fall in love with him in ten days. If she wins, she will be given the chance to write about any subject she wants, if he wins he'll get to pitch the big diamond account (read DeBeers). Are you still with me or have you fallen asleep?

Better to have fallen asleep. The producers, obviously aware that they had a dog on their hands, even brought in Burr Steers, creator of the wicked "Igby Goes Down," to jazz up the script; it didn't help. (I'm aware that opening weekend grosses were $25 million, but that just shows the state of American taste in movies.)

So, what happens in the movie? Umm, let's see. They meet, not even cute, but enough so that we understand that they have a kind of relationship. Then she proceeds to throw everything from a Carly Simon song to a miniature dog that pees on his poker table at him, but, because the film still has an hour and a half to go, he doesn't just throw her out and start all over again with someone human. Should I tell you some of the embarrassments she puts him through? No. That would be cruel. Let me just say that the film ends with Andie leaving for Washington by crossing the Queensborough Bridge heading east (the long way around to LaGuardia, but the photogenic one) and Benjamin stopping her cab to reclaim her. Okay, enough. I give up. They win.