How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003) 
Blu-ray Romantic Comedy
Written by Noah Fleming   
Friday, 21 August 2009

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I have confessed it before, and I will say it again, I have a soft spot for romantic comedies.  I adore Kate Hudson and find this film to be on of my favorite romantic films.  I was really excited to take a look at this film again.  Unfortunately, it is not as wonderful as I remember it.  It runs a bit long due to lengthy scenes that would have otherwise been easily cut shorter.

"How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" takes an old plotline and brings into a new light.  The plot is essentially this; a guy scams a girl while the girl scams the guy.  Catch is that neither one know the other's intentions.

Kate Hudson stars as Andie Anderson, an intelligent blonde that works writing meaningless articles for "Composure," the fastest growing woman's magazine.  She writes How-To articles while she makes it no secret that she longs to right about politics, religions, etc.  Matthew McConaughey plays Ben, an advertising guru, specializing mainly in sports and entertainment.

In order to save her friend's job, Andie resolves to writing a How-To article on losing a guy by doing all the things that women do wrong in relationships.  Meanwhile, Ben is trying to land the pitch for the largest diamond company.  However, the account has been given to the dynamic girls in the ad firm.  The team comes up with a bet to determine who will give the pitch.  Ben must make a girl fall in love with him in 10 days.  Yes, it is convenient that the two numbers align.  Moving on.

After a series of coincidences, Ben is sent to make Andie fall in love with him, while Andie's agenda is to lure him in and then drive him away for the purpose of her article.  It is fairly predictable that the couple is going to start growing a real attraction for one another.  Andie pulls out all the stops to drive Ben away, only for Ben to continue his persistence with their relationship.  Just when you think it is the end, the couple go to a rigged couples therapy session.

At the behest of the therapist (really Andie's co-worker) the couple go to Staten Island for the weekend so that Andie can meet Ben's family.  It doesn't take much and Andie begins to fall in love with Ben's entire family.

As much as the couple bicker, Andie trying to part and Ben trying to stay close, it is inevitable that it will come down to a very public confession.  Sure enough, both partners get their way, only to feel the emptiness of their separation.  The ending feels a bit rushed in comparison with the rest of the film.  The unevenness of the events is what keeps this film from get a higher rating.

Kate Hudson is marvelous.  She is completely lovable.  Ben is a great opposite to her in this film.  The chemistry that they lacked in the recent film, "Fool's Gold," is strong in this film.  Director Donald Petrie started his career in television and his breakthrough as a director with "Turner & Hooch" and "Grumpy Old Men."  He then turned toward the dark side and has been directing much fluffier films such as "Miss Congeniality" and "Just My Luck."

"How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" comes to Blu-ray with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio and MPEG-4 AVC encode.  After a rather dull DVD transfer, I expected this Blu-ray to have a stellar picture in comparison.  While it is an upgrade, it still could be much better.  The film uses a lot of primary colors, however they never truly shine.  The film does not pop with dimensionality, which is a real shame.  Black levels are suitable but could also be improved.  Film grain is substantial despite obvious signs of digital noise reduction.  The grain and noise reduction has resulted in a loss of details and textures, more of the textures than the details.  Details were blurry on occasion.  Edges were hit and miss.  Occasionally the edges were superb, but mostly they feel short.  Darker sequences suffered from noise artifacting.  In terms of blemishes the print seems to be in good shape.  Fleshtones are natural for the most part, but fluctuate throughout the film as most everything else does.  While still an upgrade over the standard DVD, it just doesn't give me that feeling of, "this is Blu-ray material."

The audio is fairly dull, although better than the standard Dolby Digital audio track.  The disc comes with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track.  The surround channels are virtually empty.  The LFE channel rarely plays an important role in the film.  Dialogue is a bit uneven.  The frequency response of the dialogue is lacking in the lower mids.  Dynamics never really go anywhere.  Any immersive feeling from this audio track is non-existent.  Other than enveloping, it is pretty typically romantic comedy audio track.  Unfortunately the pop music doesn't have quite the clarity of most films.

The Blu-ray disc comes with the same bonus materials that were on the standard DVD.  Some of the materials have been upgraded to high definition, which is rare.  First there is an audio commentary with director Donald Petrie.  This track is not very informative.  It spends most of time simply describe action.  "How To Make a Movie in 2 Years" is a dull featurette describing the inspiration behind the film.  "Why the Sexes Battle" is a odd featurette that too much psychology for me.  "Girls Night Out" is another empty featurette of girls discussing what they have and have not done in their relationships.  Finally there are some deleted scenes with optional director's commentary and a music video for Keith Urban's "Someone Like You."

"How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" is a silly romantic comedy, but super great for date night, or for when you want to cozy up with your special someone.  The video and quality are not stellar, but they suffice as a little better than the standard DVD.  The film and disc are certainly worth a look.
Studio Paramount Home Entertainment
MPAA Rating PG-13
Starring Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey, Kathryn Hahn, Annie Parisse, Adam Goldberg, Thomas Lennon, Bebe Neuwirth, Michael Michele, Shalom Harlow, James Murtaugh, Robert Klein
Director Donald Petrie
Film Release Year 2003
Release Year 2009
Resolution(s) 1080p (main feature) • 1080p (supplements) • 480i (supplements)
Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Running Time 1 hr. 55 mins.
Sound Formats English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 • French Dolby Digital 5.1 • Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English SDH • English • French • Portuguese • Spanish
Special Features Director Audio Commentary; "How to Make a Movie in 2 Years"; "Why the Sexes Battle"; "Girls Night Out"; Deleted Scenes; Keith Urban "Someone Like You" Music Video
Forum Link
Reviewer Noah Fleming

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