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How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

Is it or isn't it?

There's a fine line being walked in a romantic comedy. Is it a comedy? Is it a romance? Often times the romance overwhelms the comedy so that all the wit and sharpness become soggy and weak. Then there are the testosterone rampant comedies with slapstick humor and gross-out antics that have a completely artificial relationship stapled onto the end for good measure.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, the latest flick to come out of this schizophrenic genre, is more comedy than romance. Directed by Donald Petrie and based on the self-help book by Michele Alexander and Jeannie Long, it tells the story of Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) a too-good-to-be-true girl next door (a la "Mary" in There's Something about Mary) who just so happens to be a writer for a fashion rag - Composure Magazine. While she specializes in quasi-investigative "how-to" pieces, this graduate from the Columbia School of Journalism (whom you never see actually writing) strives to write about politics and substantial social issues. After getting turned down by her controlling editor (Bebe Neuwirth) for a piece about Tajikistan, she decides to write an article exploring all the dating faux-pas which women commit that drive men away.

She needs to find an unsuspecting victim, date him and do all those things you're not supposed to do like call twenty times a day and tell someone you love them on the third date right after having sex. Meanwhile, Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey [Do I sense an alliteration trend here or are the writers just trying really hard to be cute?]) is a cocky advertising exec who, through a completely unrealistic, not to mention unprofessional, series of events, gets involved in a bet: he has to make a woman fall in love with him in ten days in order to win control over a new client. His colleagues choose a woman and - surprise, suprise - it's our girl Andie.

McConaughey has recently been pushing Hugh Grant for the title of Mr. Romantic Comedy. Maybe he just needs the cash for funding that restaurant he's just opened up. Hudson is a surprisingly good comedic actress; she has great timing and delivers her lines on just the right beat. She nails every scene she's in and there are a lot of funny scenes in this movie.

The first three-quarters of the film are truly funny; however, things change after the expected, obligatory romance gets inserted. After that it gets real sappy, real fast. Even the lighting changes so that a fifties haze coats the actors. There are several times in which Benjamin refers to Andie's psycho-girlfriend behavior as bi-polar or split-personalityesque. That's exactly what this movie ultimately does. First it's a laugh-out-loud farce, and then in a manner of minutes, it's another creature altogether - and that humorous thing you were watching is no where to be found.

Over all, if you're a fan of romance, you'll like this movie. If you like a good comedy - you'll like it even more.



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How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Rated PG-13
1 hour 50 minutes

Matthew McConaughey
Kate Hudson
Adam Goldberg
Thomas Lennon
Michael Michele

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