This review contains spoilers
As any true romantic comedy lover knows, the key components to a classic early 2000s rom-com are simple and hardly ever disappoint. The setting must, of course, be New York City, one of the romantic leads must (obviously) be a journalist and there absolutely has to be a scene where one romantic lead chases the other down (preferably via cab or motorcycle) to tell them they love them before they make a life-altering decision.
Luckily, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey, has all of this and more, with the 2003 film using the enemies-to-lovers trope as we watch Hudson and McConaughey enter a whirlwind 10-day relationship, both with something to gain.
As the resident “How-to Girl” of the fictional women’s magazine “Composure,” Hudson’s character Andie Anderson must write a snappy article entitled “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” where she uses what she considers to be “classic dating mistakes that women make” to drive away a man in ten days.
McConaughey’s Benjamin Barry, on the other hand, makes a bet with his coworkers that if he can make a woman fall in love with him in ten days, he can take the big account at work. Knowing the subject of her article, his coworkers choose Andie, setting the would-be lovers at odds.
Although the story itself holds its own in the rom-com hall of fame, the casting of Hudson and McConaughey is the cherry on top. The pair, both well-seasoned in the genre, bring chemistry, relatability and their own personal styles to the film. Hudson plays the perfect sharp and ambitious girl’s girl, while McConaughey adds a swoon-worthy touch of ruggedness and charisma to every scene. After watching the film in its entirety, it’s difficult to imagine a better duo.
Throughout the film we see the push and pull of Benjamin and Andie’s motivations, from Andie’s purposefully insufferable behavior to Benjamin’s seemingly endless amount of patience. The comedic back-and-forth between the two characters comes to a head when they decide to visit Benjamin’s family in Long Island.
In the new setting, surrounded by Benjamin’s family, the two drop their acts and finally get to know and fall in love with one another. Though, in the true romantic comedy fashion, this newfound love is disrupted by well-meaning friends and a total lack of communication.
Fortunately, by the end, the audience gets its happily ever after, of course preceded by a taxi-motorcycle chase through traffic.
This film, like most of its kind, is imperfect in many ways, however, this does not detract from its feel-good nature, its nostalgic charm, nor its absolutely fabulous costuming (we’re looking at you, Andie’s backless yellow dress).
That being said, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” still transports a willing audience into a serendipitous fairy tale that depicts the glamorous lifestyle of two young career people in the big city who meet, fall in love and presumably live happily ever after. While this form of storytelling may seem mindless and overdone to some, romantic comedy lovers know that just about every other genre made for adults is severely lacking in the warmth, silliness, and impossibly perfect love that exists within romantic comedies.
Whether you’re nineteen years late to the game like myself or a die-hard fan since its release in 2003 this is your sign to curl up on the couch, forget about your real-life worries and watch “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.”
Sierra Martinez is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org