We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Well, you could take him to this ass movie, for starters. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is, to be fair, a less static and repellent genre entry than such recent abominations as Just Married and Two Weeks Notice, but this is only an indication of how far we’ve lowered our romantic-comedy bar. The protagonists don’t appear to be coked out of their minds or to have been recently hit over the head with shovels, and even if Matthew McConaghey stars, so does the perfectly adorable Kate Hudson. Still, feh upon Donald Petrie, for his zombified direction, and upon the 100 monkeys who typed the OK script, for not hiring a human editor. That the individually charming leads (McConaghey is actually pretty cute for once) are forced to trade one-liners across an abyss of logy cuts and a subplot full of cackling sidekicks, male and female, is an insult to the genre’s traditions of sparkling, fast-paced dialogue and strong secondary roles. The premise, for what it’s worth, is all in the title: Flossy women’s-mag writer Andie Anderson (Hudson) has to write an article about dating don’ts to buck up her perpetually don’t-doing colleague. She targets beer- and sneakers-consuming ad-agency whiz Ben Barry (McConaghey), who has made a bet with his co-workers that he can make any girl fall in love with him in…wait for it, wait for it…10 days. It’s a sitcom with two sits, both guaranteed to cause dopey misunderstandings, then disillusionment and recriminations before the lovers allow the Knicks and a dead fern (don’t ask) to heal them. What the situations don’t guarantee is a bizarre singing match in which Andie (drunk) and Ben (vengeful) snarl “You’re So Vain” at each other at a charity gala, accompanied by Marvin Hamlisch—which gives How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days exactly one unpredictable element. —Arion Berger