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PARAMOUNT

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Donald Petrie
Cast:
Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson, Robert Klein, Bebe Neuwirth
Writing Credits:
Michele Alexander (book), Jeannie Long (book), Kristen Buckley, Brian Regan, Burr Steers

Tagline:
One of them is lying. So is the other.

Synopsis:
As the "How to..." columnist for trendy Composure Magazine, Andie Anderson (Hudson) agrees to write a first-hand account about what it takes to drive a man out of your life...in exactly 10 days. At the same time, eligible ad agency bachelor Benjamin Barry (McConaughey) accepts a high-stakes bet that he can lure any woman into falling head-over-heels in love with him ... also in 10 days. The resulting romantic head-on collision ignites a series of deliriously comic deceptions that prove when it comes to true love ... your heart cannot tell a lie. From the director of Miss Congeniality, it's the year's most wildly entertaining romantic romp, in the comedy smash David Sheehan of CBS-TV hails as "The ultimate chick-flick for guys!"

Budget:
$50 million.
Box Office:
Opening Weekend:
$23.774 million on 2923 screens.
Domestic Gross:
$105.807 million.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Audio:
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Surround 2.0
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Portuguese
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Portuguese

Runtime: 115 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 8/18/2009

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Donald Petrie
• “How to Make a Movie in Two Years” Featurette
• “Why the Sexes Battle” Featurette
• “Girls Night Out” Featurette
• 5 Deleted Scenes with Director's Commentary
• Music Video


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days [Blu-Ray] (2003)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 14, 2009)

If you want to find a pretty by-the-numbers romantic comedy, head to 2003’s How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson), writes a “how-to” column for women’s magazine based in New York. Upset that she’s not allowed to write serious pieces until she’s better established herself, Andie takes on a challenging assignment. She will meet a guy, make him fall for her, and then use a variety of methods to drive him away from her.

Enter Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey), an ad exec who also feels stuck in a rut. He runs accounts for “guys stuff” like booze and sporting goods, but he wants to land a lucrative diamond account. His boss (Robert Klein) doesn’t think he understands the female mind well enough for this, so he takes on his own peculiar challenge to prove his comprehension of the fairer sex. Ben will meet a woman, make her fall for him, and keep her with him for at least 10 days.

Neither “challenge” really seems that difficult, except for one complication: Ben and Andie meet and choose each other as partners. Of course, neither one knows of the ulterior motives involved, so they don’t realize how difficult their assignments will be. Essentially the story involves an irresistible force and an unmovable object, as both challenges are at opposite ends. Who will win?

Probably not the viewer, as Days offers a pretty ordinary chick flick. Actually, I admit that the film comes with a pretty clever premise, though it suffers from flaws related to the characters’ individual quests. Even for an attractive woman like Andie/Kate Hudson, it shouldn’t be at all difficult for any female to drive away an average guy via the over the top methods she uses. Yeah, a lot of really desperate guys would put up with all her nonsense because she’s good-looking, but a normal man would give her the old heave-ho within a day or two.

Ben’s quest is even less remarkable. Again, I can see why some men would stick with Andie despite her idiotic behavior; we’ll do anything for a good-looking chick. On the other hand, a hunk like Ben/McConaughey would have no trouble romancing many, many women, and keeping one as a girlfriend for a week and a half is insanely simple. If the movie forced him to marry a woman in 10 days, then it’d be a challenge even for The Shirtless Wonder, but the idea that it’s a challenge for Ben/McConaughey to stay with a woman for 10 days seems perplexing. I understand that the film wants Andie to declare her love for Ben after a short period, and that’s more of a difficult task, but I still don’t think it’s the insurmountable mountain the movie wants us to believe.

While aspects of the premise stretch credulity, at least it offers an interesting twist to the usual rom-com “meet cute”. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really go anywhere after that. Sure, Andie’s irritating behaviors provide a smattering of mildly amusing scenes, but they don’t really zing like they should. They boast gentle charm at best.

And the same goes for our leads. Both McConaughey and Hudson possess decent talent, but neither really can elevate the ordinary material. They show reasonable chemistry together and allow us some investment in the characters, but they don’t add a whole lot to the package. We could easily envision a slew of other actors in their parts, and all of them would do just as well, if not better.

Actually, that may not be totally true. I could see a jillion other actresses as Andie, and many would be more attractive; Hudson’s pretty, but I must admit she’s never done a ton for me, and I even prefer her work friends, both of whom are much sexier to me. On the other hand, Ben does seem well-suited to McConaughey. He works that cocky Texas boy thing to a “T”, and it’d be hard for usual rom-com suspects like Tom Hanks or Hugh Grant to pull off the part.

At 115 minutes, Days seems too long for a flick of this sort. It tends to drag at times and lacks the peppiness it needs to survive. The film doesn’t totally alienate the viewer along the way, but if it lost 15 minutes or so, it’d move at a better pace and stronger energy.

Would those changes make Days a winner, though? Probably not. To be sure, it’s not a bad romantic comedy, but it’s also not an exceptional one. The film hits the usual notes and fails to make itself anything especially different.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture C/ Audio C/ Bonus C+

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. I found a decidedly lackluster transfer here.

Sharpness seemed bland. Most of the movie displayed acceptable delineation, though some exceptions occurred, as the film suffered from more than a few oddly soft shots. Even at its best, the presentation lacked much detail; it looked decent but tended to be rather flat. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering appeared, and I noticed no edge enhancement. Source flaws were minor, as I saw just a handful of specks. Grain was a bit heavier than I anticipated, though, especially for such a recent movie.

Like the sharpness, colors tended to be ordinary. A few shots demonstrated good vivacity, but much of the film showed rather ordinary hues. In general, the tones looked average; they weren’t bad, but they failed to show much life. Blacks were fine, at least, and shadows appeared acceptable. A few interiors were somewhat bland, but they worked well overall. Unfortunately, the whole package failed to deliver the quality I expect of Blu-ray; Days tended to look like a DVD.

I also thought the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack of Days was mediocre, though this wasn’t a surprise, as romantic comedies like this tend to provide subdued audio. The soundfield remained decidedly lackluster much of the time. Indeed, the track focused so strongly on the forward speakers that I started to wonder if my surrounds were working. The Knicks game added some zest to the piece and showed decent use of the back channels, but not much else materialized here.

Even within the forward speakers, not much occurred. Much showed good stereo information, but the effects didn’t bring much to the table. Some light environmental audio occurred, and street scenes showed fair ambience. However, there just wasn’t much auditory information throughout the flick.

Audio quality was also lackluster. In particular, the track didn’t deliver great oomph. Music was clear enough but didn’t bring out much low-end material; the score seemed flat much of the time. Speech was fine, though, as the lines delivered good clarity and accuracy. Effects were also pretty natural; they didn’t do much, but they appeared good for what they were. Overall, the track was forgettable and ordinary.

When we move to the disc’s extras, we start with an audio commentary from director Donald Petrie. He offers a running, screen-specific look at cast and performances, story/character issues and editing, sets and locations, music, various visual choices, and a few other topics.

Despite a lot of basic happy talk, Petrie manages to provide a rather good commentary. He shows a lot of enthusiasm for the endeavor, and he gives us a nice look at the work involved in this sort of romantic comedy. Petrie ensures that we stay interested and involved throughout this likable chat.

A few featurettes follow. How to Make a Movie in Two Years runs 16 minutes, 53 seconds and provides notes from authors Michele Alexander and Jennie Long, producers Christine Peters and Lynda Obst, and director of photography John Bailey. The show looks at the story’s origins, development and adaptation for the screen, cast and performances, costumes, cinematography and locations, and Petrie’s style as director.

The absence of Petrie and any actors zaps some of the oomph from “Years”. Nonetheless, it contributes a lot of good information, especially in terms of the original book. Despite the limited cast of participants, the featurette proves satifying.

Why the Sexes Battle lasts five minutes and features evolutionary expect Shanee Edwards and psychologist and author Dr. Aaron Kipnis. They discuss the ways that men and women choose each other and why they so often don’t understand each other. This is a glossy, superficial little piece without much substance; you’ll get more depth from Oprah.

Finally, Girls Night Out goes for five minutes, 15 seconds and includes remarks from Long and Alexander. They chat about the techniques featured in their book as well as other relationship issues. They’re entertaining ladies, and they make this an enjoyable piece.

Five Deleted Scenes fill a total of nine minutes, 30 seconds. We find “Alternate Opening Sequence” (2:40), “Puppy Palace” (0:50), “Getting Ready for Staten Island” (1:42), “After the Bullshit Game” (1:37) and “Bookend – Andie Dumped” (2:41). “Opening” seems ridiculous; even if we buy that Andie should write political pieces for a fashion magazine, why would she rely on a runway model for her info? “Bookend” offers an okay sequence, though, as it better shows Andie’s state after the break-up. The others are okay but they tend to feel like filler; they would’ve slowed the flick.

We can watch the scenes with or without commentary from Petrie. He tells us a bit about the sequences and usually lets us know why he cut them – but not always. Petrie throws out a few good notes but his remarks are less consistent than his main commentary.

We also get a Music Video for Keith Urban’s “Somebody Like You”. It’s a decent song, but the video’s dull. It just intercuts movie clips with performance shots of Urban, so it doesn’t provide a terribly interesting piece.

If you expect anything inventive from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, you’ll not find it. Actually, the flick boasts a reasonably clever premise, but otherwise it stays with the standard playbook. That makes it moderately engaging but not better than that. The Blu-ray gives us lackluster picture and audio along with a decent array of supplements. Days provides passable chick flick entertainment but nothing more, and this is a mediocre Blu-ray.

To rate this film visit the original review of HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS

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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main