This spurious conjecture is sadly far more interesting than How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, a film which effectively loses its audience inside of 10 minutes.
A more contrived plot you will not find this side of a Star Trek movie. Not only does 10 Days rely on that old standby of romantic comedies -- "the bet" -- it one-ups the cliché with two bets! Hudson plays fashion magazine writer named Andie Anderson, who solely writes how-to columns and is challenged be editor Bebe Neuwirth (who's also inexplicably an ad salesperson) to date a poor guy... and then drive him away in 10 days. McConaughey plays ad exec Benjamin Barry, who bets his boss that he can get any woman to fall in love with him, also in 10 days. In so doing she'll save her job and he'll win a big diamond account.
You've certainly figured out the ending by now, and unless you somehow met your significant other through a similar extreme contrivance or are a complete imbecile, you'll find yourself as appalled by this movie as I was. The stunned silence in my (admittedly small) audience is a testament to the alternate feelings of horror and confusion which ran through my mind for the full two hours(!) of this alleged comedy, which -- honest-to-God -- is based on an actual self-help book of the same name.
This is the kind of blunt and ham-fisted movie that is so obvious it actually has a character exclaim as she enters a swanky club, "Mullen's is the après-work watering hole for the upwardly mobile!" One of Benjamin's friends, in order to convince us he's a nebbish, is actually introduced wearing a bow tie.
But 10 Days really degenerates when its leads are onscreen. Hudson and McConaughey obviously have no chemistry at all. Even if they did, what kind of man would let a woman, on their second date, force him to fetch her a Coke with one minute left on the clock at a big basketball game? The day after she pigs out on lobster, would you let slide her new claim of being a vegetarian? Bet or no, Ben comes off like a pansy man who deserves the crap he gets from the wholly unlikable Andie, who's trying as hard as she can to drive Ben away. Too bad you've seen all the presumably wacky hijinks before: Andie buys Ben an effeminate dog. Andie surreptitiously calls Ben's mother. Andie crashes the poker game. Andie stocks the bathroom with feminine hygiene products.
None of this is funny for one second, it's so derivative. The sole laugh comes when Andie brings home a digitally-composited future family photo album. The photos are so unattractive that you're reminded that they really are based on pictures of Hudson and McConaughey. It's a true match made in hell.
There's also one moment of humanity in the film, when Ben takes Andie to meet his parents (Staten Island, baby!), the bulk of which concerns Andie learning how to play a card game known as "Bullshit!" A more apt metaphor for this movie I could not make up if I tried.
Just catching the dailies.
Run time: 116 mins
In Theaters: Friday 7th February 2003
Box Office USA: $105.8M
Box Office Worldwide: $105.8M
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Production compaines: Paramount Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 42%
Fresh: 62 Rotten: 86
IMDB: 6.3 / 10
Director: Donald Petrie
Starring: Kate Hudson as Andie Anderson, Matthew McConaughey as Benjamin Barry, Kathryn Hahn as Michelle Rubin, Annie Parisse as Jeannie Ashcroft, Adam Goldberg as Tony, Thomas Lennon as Thayer, Michael Michele as Judy Spears, Shalom Harlow as Judy Green, Robert Klein as Phillip Warren, Bebe Neuwirth as Lana Jong, Samantha Quan as Lori, Justin Peroff as Mike, Celia Weston as Glenda, James Murtaugh as Jack, Archie MacGregor as Uncle Arnold
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