Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 19th, 2009
You know, I was watching this episode of the popular Showtime series Dexter the other night. There was this murder victim who had taken off work early to go and see a romantic comedy with his girlfriend. He ended up getting his head bashed in and dead. Is it saying something about my own bias that the first thing that came to my mind was that it was a lucky thing he got his skull caved in before he had to go to the romantic comedy? Romantic comedies. Chick flicks. Date movies. Whatever it is that you want to call them, ladies, they are the stuff of nightmares for your significant others. It might appear to be harmless enough fun for you girls out there, but for your guy? I guarantee he’s squirming in his seat the entire time. You do know that he doesn’t really have a bladder problem, don’t you? There’s a reason he has to go to the bathroom 20 times in those 2 hours. It’s even worse when we’re watching them at home. Here’s a helpful dating tip: Don’t ask him if he wants you to put it on pause on one of those 20 bathroom breaks. It might also be advisable to keep any sharp objects, firearms, or prescription drugs out of reach of your guy during date movie nights. There isn’t a guy out there who wouldn’t opt for a painful visit to the emergency room over another hour watching a romantic comedy. We’ll do it; after all a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do. Just don’t forget the poor sap deserves to be amply rewarded when the film’s over. Now if you’re a guy and you find yourself, like me, watching this one by yourself…. not that there’s anything wrong with that… I hope you have a good reason. Mine is to write this here review. Just another bullet I take for you, my gentle readers.
Andie Anderson (Hudson) writes the “How To…” column for Composure Magazine, the fastest growing women’s magazine in the country. You know the kind of articles I’m talking about here: “How to talk your way out of a ticket”, “How to lose weight in 5 Days And Still Eat All You Want”. It’s those female lifestyle burning questions. But, Andi wants to write about more serious issues like politics and religion. Her editor (Neuwirth) promises her a shot at writing about what she wants if she turns in a killer article. She decides to call it “How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days”. It’s a kind of dating tips in reverse. She’ll get a guy into her and then begin to pull out all of those don’t do’s in a relationship: acting clingy, whining, feminizing his apartment, dragging him to a Celine Dion concert, and one she forgot: taking him to see How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. Enter Ben Berry (McConaughey). He’s an ad executive who wants to land a hot new diamond account. He’s got to convince his boss and a couple of female coworkers that he understands women enough to lead the campaign. He makes a bet that he could get a woman to fall completely in love with him in just, you guessed it, 10 days. His coworkers will pick out a woman at random, and that’s Ben’s target. You already know where this is going, don’t you? The two hook up and begin their cross purposes campaigns, each without the other knowing. The usual romantic comedy moments ensue, and the two genuinely fall in love with each other. It’s all leading to the big diamond gala 10 days later. Both bosses are in attendance, and the secrets get out with the expected results.
As romantic comedies go, this one is more tolerable than most. Of course, it’s terribly predictable and has that fairy tale ending that you ladies just swoon and cry over. And yes, he’s crying too, but it’s not for the same reason as you are. Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey make a cute enough couple. Fortunately, there aren’t a lot of the bedroom and deep emotional scenes. This one leans mostly toward the comedy with the romantic part mostly saved up for the end. When the gala ends, that’s a good time for you guys to make one of those bathroom runs.
How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The 1080p image is arrived at with an AVC/MPEG-4 codec. This is actually a very good image presentation. The bit rate clocks in at nearly 40 mbps at times, and the detail level is about as high as I’ve seen on this kind of movie. Colors are natural but with just the right amount of brightness to create the fairy tale aura that these movies strive to create. Flesh tones are pretty much reference. You’ll get dynamic contrast and excellent black levels. The print is in pristine condition. There’s really not a flaw in the image that I could find, and trust me, I was bored enough to really look for one.
The Dolby TrueHD Audio track does a terrific job as well. Again, the word is natural realism. You get just enough dynamics to fill your theater with sound, but the mix never overdoes it or calls attention to itself. Dialog is clear, and that’s what drives the film.
There is an Audio Commentary with director Donald Petrie. He’s very soft spoken and almost sounds a bit sleepy. It gives the impression that he can’t really get too interested in his own film. There’s a lot of dead air here as well.
How To Make A Movie In 2 Years: (16:54) HD Apparently the original authors got the idea in a bar waiting for a Florida Gators game to start. It was originally written as panels on bar napkins and completely by accident got the attention of the filmmakers. Lucky us. Apparently there are also rules to making a romantic comedy. Who knew? It’s also apparent that Kate Hudson was being a bit difficult about who her leading man would be.
Why The Sexes Battle: (5:00) HD A couple of evolutionists and psychiatrist use the film as a scientific study on the differences between men and women. Oh my.
Girl’s Night Out: (5:15) HD It’s the writers at that bar again, bragging about how guys hit on them all the time since they wrote the book. You don’t say?
Music Video: (3:53) SD Keith Urban’s Somebody Like You.
Deleted Scenes: (9:30) SD there are 5 with the usual handy play all and optional sleepy-time commentary by Petrie again. You mean there was more?
Certainly I have some bias here. We’re not supposed to, but we’re all human. Any reviewer who claims to be completely unbiased is a liar. We all have things that we tend to enjoy and those things that tend to annoy. For most guys romantic comedies fall into the latter category. I keep putting out a call for a female writer, but with no takers. That makes it a little harder to moan about a guy writing these reviews. Believe me, we draw straws here at Upcomingdiscs. The loser gets to watch films like this. Hey, “All’s fair in love and war”.