This week at The Pink Heart Society, editor Trish Wylie discusses the suggestion made for a movie that would make a Modern Extra book - How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days...
One of them is lying. So is the other.
The dialogue, the city setting, the groups of friends to add to the fun - hell yes that's all Modern Extra - but *some parts* I might have to debate with you guys... ;)
Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson), the how-to girl for Composure Magazine, 'thinks' she has struck a bargain with her Editor. In order to get to write something more 'meaningful' she agrees to write a firsthand account of all the things women do to drive away men; she has to find a guy, make him fall in love with her, then get dumped--all in 10 days.
Having struck the deal, she then has to find the guy. And that's when she meets Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConnaughey). The snappy dialogue of that meeting demonstrating how you can say soooo much with so little:
Andie: Unattached? Ben: Currently. Andie: Likewise. Ben: Surprising. Andie: Psycho? Ben: Rarely, Interested? Andie: Perhaps. Ben: Hungry? Andie: Starving. Ben: Leaving? Andie: Now?
Can't tell you how much I want to have written that! Anyways what Andie doesn't know is that her target, ad agency hottie Ben, has just made a high-stakes bet with his boss that he can make any girl fall in love with him in 10 days. This leads to an interesting and oft times very amusing to-and-fro as Andie tries everything in the book to lose Ben and Ben does everything he can to keep her - neither of them understanding that they're being 'played'...
Andie: True or False: All's fair in love and war. Ben: True. Andie: Great answer. Ben: Good question!
So for the first part of the film we see Andie run through her escalating list of ‘don’ts’ (crying over poor 'baa baa' lamb when he cooks her a roast lamb dinner, making him miss a crucial basketball moment, making him blow his nose in front of his poker buddies 'cos no-one likes a Mister Sniffles', filling his house with soft toys, calling his mother, buying him a ridiculous – and incontinent - dog who pees on his pool table) and becomes increasingly exasperated when Ben fails to dump her - even after she hilarious names his penis (hey - am I the first one to actually use that word on the PHS??? LOL - GO ME - Thats me into the Hall Of Fame then...) But seriously - the dialogue from that scene was too funny to miss!Andie: Does Princess Sophia want to come out and play? Ben: Who's Princess Sophia? (Andie points at his crotch) Andie: Little, big, little, big... I don't know... we will find out! Ben: You can't name my member... Princess Sophia. Andie: Yes, I can! Ben: If you are gonna name my... member, you have to name it something hyper masculine. Something like Spike, or Butch, or Krull the Warrior King!
Ben - despite having to put up with all this in order to win his bet - does however go into it with a bit of a win-win scenario. Because for Andie's plan to work, she does initially have to behave like her usual self in order to attract him to begin with - right? And if Ben likes her and eventually falls for her while trying to get her to fall for him anyway, how could he have lost in the end? He'd win his bet AND get the girl. It just so happens that in order to win her bet Andie has to then become every man's worst nightmare...
Ben: That's what I'm talking about. Where's the sexy, cool, fun, smart, beautiful Andie that I knew? The one that wanted to be a serious journalist? You're up, you're down, you're here, you're there, you're like a frickin' one woman circus.
After time spent with his family, where she discovers that Ben has never brought a girl home before, and she lets her guard down and behaves like her usual self again is where we begin to see Andie regret a little that she has met Ben in the way she has. Which of course is what we *need* to see to have the romance work. Cos after all - this is a relationship built on lies, and we Category Romance fans know this is a bad place to start, right?
But the black moment approacheth, and eventually the lies are uncovered and feelings are hurt...
Ben: That's what I was, huh? I was your guinea pig, somebody you can test your theories on. Andie: And I was just a girl somebody picked out in a bar Ben: Yeah, so what, big deal? Hell, now you can even use it as a little twist in your story Andie: That's a good idea, maybe we should bet on it Ben: You know what, you did your job now Andie Andie: Yes I did Ben: You wanted to lose a guy in 10 days, congratulations you did it. You just lost him Andie: No I didn't Ben, cause you can't lose something you never had!
Yes, there is plenty here to recommend this as an example of a Modern Extra - there's no doubting that; the big city setting, the fact they both have a circle of friends to bounce off, the dilemmas of modern day dating... all good. Where it would fall down a bit for me would be - and I'll step back from the computer for this one I think - the hero. Is a Modern Extra hero as deliciously cast as the long, cool glass of water that is Matthew likely to let a woman get away with all those horrific things that Kate's character pulls? I personally don't think so. Yes he may want to win his bet, but once Princess Sophia entered the equation he'd have done everything in his power to either get the hell away - far, far away - or to prove in the most natural way possible that he was 100% Butch or Krull (okay, in fairness - that move would have placed the film into a whole other genre - but even so!) But then that's just my opinion. The beauty of Modern Extra is that, as it's still technically in it's infancy, there is a tonne of scope there - and it's all in the telling, right???
The next time I do a Friday I'll review Failure To Launch - another Matthew McConnaughey movie. And not cos I'm a manic fan or anything - but because it's another one that *almost* but *not quite* makes it as an example of a Modern Extra film... Why? Well... I guess you'll have to wait and see. And feel free to debate these statements at will gang!
I give this one a Warm & Fuzzy rating of 7/10 - cos it's a comedy first I feel...