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Dating games. Almost everyone plays them - but usually not as intently as Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson).
With a master's degree in journalism, this ?how to? columnist wants to write about big subjects like politics, poverty and peace. Instead she spends her working hours writing feminine fluff articles for Composure, New York City's fastest growing women's magazine.
Her latest assignment is to jot down a first hand account of female dating blunders - the whiny, needy, clingy idiosyncrasies that send potential boyfriends running for their lives. The working title for her story? How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
Combining reporting skills with feminine wiles, the blonde correspondent sets out to find a guy who wants to date her. Then all she has to do is get the poor chump to drop her in time to have the hard copy on her editor's (Bebe Neuwirth) desk before the next deadline.
Sure, unless your target is trying to win a bet of his own.
Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey) is an upwardly mobile ad man who pushes beer and athletic equipment, until his company gets a chance to market diamonds for the city's leading jewelers. Ready to trade in gym shorts for gems, the eager young promoter wants a chance to head the new campaign. But in order to get the job, he has to prove to his boss (Robert Klein) that he, the one-night stand man, can make a woman fall in love with him for 10 days.
Unaware of each other's intentions, Andie and Ben are set up at a party and share a mutual attraction. Then she starts up her scare tactics. Filling his bachelor pad with teddy bears and pink, frilly bathroom accessories, the once intriguing girl resorts to using silly pet names and buying matching plaid outfits for the couple to wear.
As time passes, she and her friends (Kathryn Hahn, Annie Parisse) use increasingly ruthless stratagem aimed at sending him scampering, but Ben's advertising co-workers (Thomas Lennon, Adam Goldberg) persuade him to hold out to win his wager.
Replaying wooing mistakes we've all made, the smart writing and quirky jokes in this movie gives audience members a chance to laugh at the dilemmas of dating. Unfortunately, the storyline doesn't sustain itself for the full 115 minutes, leaving the final moments to drag on.
Parents may also be disenchanted with the frequent alcohol consumption engaged in by the young adults, and the repeated use of a profanity during a family card game. While slang names for body parts and intimacy aren't the first ruses used in this game of love and deceit, moviegoers can be sure that the film won't end until they're employed.
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days offers some entertaining moments, but don't count on its formula for love -- unless your beau is the betting kind.
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is rated PG-13: for some sex-related material.
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson
Website: Official site for How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.