ninth symphony films - movie reviews


DIRECTOR  -  donald petrie

RATED  -  pg-13

GENRE  -  romantic comedy

LENGTH  -  116 minutes

RELEASED  -  7 february 2003

DISTRIBUTOR  -  new line cinema

OFFICIAL SITE  -  how to lose a guy

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $50,000,000
how to lose a guy in 10 days - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from how to lose a guy in 10 days at

buy the dvd from how to lose a guy in 10 days at

a single man makes a bet that he can stay in a relationship for more than 10 days and a journalist, who is out to write an article on how to lose a guy in 10 days, and ends up with him.

gwyneth paltrow almost took the starring role that went to kate hudson.


picture from how to lose a guy in 10 days

picture from how to lose a guy in 10 days

picture from how to lose a guy in 10 days


three out of four possible stars

One thing is for certain about How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days and that is the masses will love this movie. It hits all the standard buttons for a romantic comedy, but the surprise is that it hits those buttons rather well. Romantic comedies don't generally get the type of box office that special effects spectaculars get, but they are a much cheaper breed of film to make, and without thousands of frames of special effects, this film manages to be an entertaining and thankfully fluff filled few hours. The reason this particular fluff is so good though is that stars Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey have decent romantic chemistry with one another with the added benefit of a good does of talent between them.

Both of these actors have shown they can make an impression on audiences in a dramatic role, but each has a certain knack for comedy as well. Not only do both actors take advantage of taking their comedy into the physical realm (the slapstick side of it), but they also have quite expressive faces. Hudson, with her brilliant smile, and McConaughey, with his equal amount of charm, are definitely a good pairing on screen. One might point to the decade-wide age gap between Hudson and McConaughey (he was born in the 60's, she in the 80's), but honestly, this aspect doesn't seem to matter, because Hudson plays a role a few years older than her real life age, so the gap doesn't seem so large.

This is by no means a film that a testosterone filled, beefy strong man would be interested in seeing. How To is firmly in the romantic comedy genre and the filmmakers make no attempt to make it appear as anything else. But because the film gets the formula so right, as a film in that type of genre, the movie is one of the best specimens to come about in the last few years. Taking hold of all the romantic comedy "tenants," like farce, physical comedy, misdirection, and (most obviously) gooey romance, the movie does everything in a predictable fashion, but makes it a fun ride, even though determining the ending before one sees it is no difficult task.

Sometimes doing something well means sticking to what works, and this movie seems to do that in spades. And along with showing fans of the genre a good time, the pace of the film clips along at brisk trot, making sure its surprisingly long running time feels no where near as long as it is. Romantic comedies are often not much more than 90 minutes, but this one clocks in at nearly twenty more than that. Perhaps because long fight sequences, complicated car chases, and gigantic explosions were not part of the repertoire on this film, the editor was able to make sure the film focused on the characters instead.

But whatever its successes in story, pace, and length, the largest reason this film succeeds in its endeavors is that the two leading roles are so appealing. And they spend a good amount of time on screen with one another. It's hard to have an engaging romance film if the leads are apart. One of the only films to go that route successfully was the 2001 movie, Serendipity, which kept its lovers apart for nearly its entire running time but still managed to pack in the romance. But a more recent film like Maid in Manhattan allowed its stars to share the frame for only a fraction of the film, and the romance angle suffered because of it.

But even though the script for How To requires the lead actors to share the screen with one another, the added bonus of good chemistry and excellent comedic timing makes sure that the romance between Hudson and McConaughey is believable and welcome. If anything, this movie runs the romantic comedy route so well that eventual fans of the film who aren't normal viewers of the genre might feel that the movie is more of a "guilty pleasure" than serious cinema. As they should. This film wasn't created to show the audience political strife or famine in Africa. It was created to allow its viewers hearts to soften to mush for a few hours and allow more serious thoughts to take a back seat.

On a few last notes, the supporting cast is suitable, and in a few cases, even surprising. The appearance of Shalom Harlow might have some viewers crying "model, model!" but the model turned actress performs rather well in her role as an advertising executive. Another surprising plus for the film is its soundtrack. Usually packed with nameless pop tunes that glaze over an audience without much notice, this film's soundtrack was rather well chosen. The songs seem less adolescent than the usual fare, much to the film's credit. As a romantic comedy, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days is a highly entertaining experience and should be more than pleasing to fans of the actors and genre (and even to significant others "dragged" to the film).

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

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