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Film / How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

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Ben: Oh, you are already falling in love with me.
Andie: I'm going to make you wish you were dead.

Based on a short cartoon book of the same name by Michele Alexander and Jeannie Long, this light Romantic Comedy film was directed by Donald Petrie (of other chick flicks such as Miss Congeniality, and Mystic Pizza) and was released in 2003.

Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey) is an advertising executive and ladies' man who, to win a big campaign by a diamond syndicate, bets that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) covers the "How To" beat for Composure magazine and is assigned to write an article on "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days." They meet in a bar that night and unwittingly decide to seduce each other for their respective career moves. Hilarity ensues.

Supporting actors include Kathryn Hahn, Annie Parisse, Adam Goldberg, Thomas Lennon, Robert Klein and Bebe Neuwirth.

The film contains examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: Both protagonists: Andie Anderson and Benjamin Barry.
  • Baby Talk: Andie uses goo-goo lingo as one of the methods to make men run away fast.
  • Back-to-Back Poster: The poster has the romantic leads leaning on each other and looking snide at the other. Fitting, since they don't start out really liking each other and are both secretly fake dating the other for their own agendas.
  • Based on an Advice Book: The film is adapted from a woman's magazine.
  • Becoming the Mask: Ben comes to fall for Andie once her former persona (the "good Andie") comes back. He even loves her so much that when he learns she loves him back, he doesn't want to go out with the woman who made the bet with him in the first place.
  • Best Friend Manual: Ben's mother lets slip that Andie is the first girl Ben ever brought home. It's not exactly advice, but it's a "heads up" insight that lets her see the context.
  • The Bet: Andie makes one with her boss. Ben makes one with his boss. Note that the woman is only doing it out of creative integrity, while the man is doing it just for money.
    • Interestingly her so-called "creative integrity" leads to her manipulating a guy because she originally sees him as nothing more than a means to get some creative freedom. Ben, by contrast, is just doing his best to be charming (which isn't outside the realm of normal dating) and not giving up on Andie, to win a lucrative account for his company. Basically, both of them have to learn to stop manipulating the other just to get what they want.
    • Ben's company already has the advertising contract; he just wants to be assigned to the account and break away from his usual assignments of "sports and beer". In a way, he also wants some creative integrity.
    • Of course, Andie's boss then reneges on the deal, saying that Andie can write about anything she wants... as long as it's trivial. Andie quits on the spot.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Andie writes for a women's magazine known as Composure. It is very unlikely that this is a coincidence with Cosmopolitan, another women's magazine. Her boss states that "serious journalism", things "that matter" to Kate Hudson, such as politics, the environment, and foreign affairs are inappropriate for a women's magazine mainly comprised of things such as how-to's, make-up, and fashion.
    • DeLauers resembles DeBeers, a diamond company that owns most of the world's diamond business.
  • Chekhov's Skill: It's earlier in the film that Andie can talk her way out of a speeding ticket. It hints how she's going to convince Ben she's a vegetarian. She later she uses the same sweet talk to convince the taxi driver to pull over while they're on a bridge.
  • Chick Flick:
  • Couple Theme Naming: It's probably not a coincidence that the lead couple both has Alliterative Names.
  • Deathbringer the Adorable: Krull the Mister Muffykins, looking natty in his Burberry sweater!
  • Defcon 5: "I have to crack this guy. I mean, this is Defcon Five, and I have to do something truly appalling. It's not funny." Possibly makes sense in this context, however, as their situation is going rather well due to Ben doing everything in his power to not break up with her, while she's trying to make things worse until he does.
  • Diagonal Billing: A more subtle example than most but during the opening credits Kate Hudson's name is on the right-hand side of the screen and slightly higher while Matthew McConaughey is on the left and slightly lower.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: The golden-haired Andie Anderson is considered so gorgeous she 'could throw up on a guy and he'd say, "Do it again."'
  • Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: The DeLauer party, where women are encouraged to borrow jewelry to wear for the evening.
  • Female Gaze: Ben spends a lot of the movie sans shirt, and catches some women at his office staring.
  • Fiction Business Savvy: Ben thinks a great new slogan for the diamond industry group is "Go frost yourself." Hilariously lampshaded when his boss, agreeing this to be an excellent idea, shouts it out the window, only for someone to shout back "Frost this!"
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: Andie is a feminine writer who goes around New York in pretty dresses, but she loves sports and bacon and has no problem getting covered in mud.
  • Hysterical Woman: Michelle, who is Prone to Tears (including after sex), gets attached way too quickly and thinks she's too fat. Andie exploits this behavior for her column — she thinks that acting hysterical (i.e. like Michelle) — early in a relationship is a great way to drive men away.
  • I Call Him "Mister Happy": Hilariously subverted by having the girlfriend naming her boyfriend's penis "Princess Sophia". He complains by saying that, if she has to name his parts, it should be a more masculine name, "something like Spike, or Butch, or Krull the Warrior King!" The last of which is what she names her Chinese crested (which is a small, mostly hairless breed of dog that can conceivably be mistaken for a chihuahua.)
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Andie's boss at the magazine. It's a magazine devoted to fashion, makeup, and how-to articles. Why would Andie think "serious journalism" has a place there? Didn't she read the magazine before she took the job? The movie inadvertently implies she's either an entitled idiot who felt she could write whatever she want despite her workplace's needs, or was not a good enough writer to land a job at the sort of "serious" publication she obviously wanted but still entitled enough to think the "trivial" magazine should let her do as she pleased.
  • Karaoke Bonding Scene: Done when Andie and Ben, who are sort-of in a fake relationship (it's complicated), perform an inebriated rendition of "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon at karaoke, which signifies how they're finally airing out their respective grievances.
  • Mean Boss: Lana is framed as this because she insists on Andie finishing her piece despite her misgivings, and because she objects to Andie's desire to write about politics.
  • Meaningful Echo: Towards the end, when Ben calls Andie's bluff about 'not running away' by using a term from the game his family plays. What makes it more meaningful? Earlier, Ben explained that his mother was bad at bluffing because she was "pure of heart".
  • Men Buy from Mars, Women Buy from Venus: The modus operandi at Ben's advertising agency is to assign accounts based on gender, under the assumption that men simply cannot understand the needs of female consumers and vice-versa.
  • Mister Muffykins: Invoked. In order to seem spoiled and shallow, Andie gets her and her new boyfriend a Chinese Crested dog that wears sweaters and pees everywhere. To his credit, Ben appears to become genuinely attached to it.
  • No Periods, Period: Ben reacts to the tampons Andie slips into his medicine cabinet as if they were live tarantulas.
  • Please Dump Me: Andie's project is to act horribly enough to drive a man away. The only reason it fails is that Ben has to keep her to get a promotion.
  • Race for Your Love: Ben on a motorcycle chasing Andi in a taxi in New York traffic after she tries to move to DC. Guess who wins!
  • Rage Quit: Ben has one during a game of Bullshit at his parents' home on Staten Island, when he discovers his family has been helping Andie cheat the game. Though, he does it rather playfully.
  • Romantic Fake–Real Turn: Andie and Ben both have their ulterior motives for dating each other: Andie to write an article; Ben to win an advertising contract. Despite both of them becoming bitter once the truth is revealed, Andie writes her article stating how much she regrets the deceit, and Ben upon reading this chases, catches up with, and kisses her.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: Andie's yellow gown for the party is backless. She does a twirl in it and Ben can't take his eyes off her.
  • Shirtless Scene: And in the bathroom, no less. Ben also gets one early in the movie when he changes shirts.
  • Suddenly Shouting: "Are you saying I'm some kind of.. MENTAL PERSON?!?"
  • Those Two Guys: Supporting characters show up in pairs to comment on how Andie's and Ben's deceits are going:
    • Judy Spears and Judy Green, Ben's rivals and co-workers.
    • Tony and Thayer, Ben's friends and co-workers.
    • Michelle and Jeannie, Andie's friends and co-workers.
  • Urine Trouble: The movie has Krull the Chinese crested peeing on a pool table.

Alternative Title(s): How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days