How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

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Released 7-Oct-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Donald Petrie (Director)
Featurette-Mapping Out The Perfect Movie
Alternative Version-Alternate Opening Sequence
Deleted Scenes-4, With Optional Director's Commentary
Featurette-Mapping Out The Perfect Location
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 110:43 (Case: 112)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (45:14) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Donald Petrie
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Kate Hudson
Matthew McConaughey
Adam Goldberg
Michael Michele
Shalom Harlow
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $39.95 Music David Newman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Croatian
Greek
Hebrew
Portuguese
Serbian
Slovenian
English Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days stars Kate Hudson... and that's all I really need to say if you, like me, find her absolutely adorable. My wife made me go and see this during its theatrical release, but I couldn't really complain because I got to look at Kate Hudson for two hours. But I digress, so for those that actually want to know what the story is all about, then I guess I should write something...

    The ever-adorable and delightfully gorgeous Hudson is Andie Anderson, a columnist for one of those women's magazines that offer all manner of good advice. In this case the magazine is called Composure and Andie writes the regular How To column. You know the sort of thing - How to dress to your body shape, How to lose 150kg in three weeksHow to have the ultimate orgasm...and so on and so on. But Andie wishes to be taken as a credible journalist and dreams of the day when she can write articles on politics or How to Bring Peace to Tajikistan, but her editor will have nothing of it, so the How To column continues focusing on relationships, fashion, glamour, and salacious gossip. When colleague and friend Michelle (Kathryn Hahn) suffers yet another mystifying break-up with her new boyfriend of only a week, Andie gets an idea for a new column. It will be a dating guide in reverse - a guide to all the things NOT to do if you want to keep your man and will be called How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. The catch is that she will experience this first hand. She will hook a guy at a bar, seduce him and once he's hooked, unleash every rotten girl-trick in the book to drive him away - all inside 10 days.

    Meanwhile, advertising exec Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey) is desperate to get appointed to lead the ad campaign for a new diamond promotion and will basically do anything to get the chance to make the pitch for the diamond campaign. Ever the ladies man, he makes the bold claim to colleagues that he could easily make a girl fall in love with him - inside 10 days, and they challenge him provided they can pick the target (I think you can see where this is heading). His boss agrees to the challenge and provided Ben can have a girl madly in love with him by the time of the big promotional party, the ad campaign is his.

    What follows is a series of humorous scenes in which Andie and Ben hook up and she proceeds to drive him completely crazy by doing everything in her girl-power to make him dump her. Ben of course will suffer through anything and gleefully accepts all manner of horrible girl problems that Andie can throw at him. There is perfect chemistry between McConaughey and Hudson, and herein lies the strength of this film, because in a nutshell it adds precious little to the age-old "lets make a bet about love and hope the other side doesn't find out, but they do" routine. There are some genuinely funny moments - I can only imagine the pain of having a new girlfriend nickname your p**** Princess Sophia, or being forced to attend a chick-flick marathon at the local cinema, but it is the actions and the reactions of both McConaughey and Hudson to each other that many will find ultimately engaging.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    All up this is a rather nice transfer with basically no faults to identify. It is bright, colourful, sharp and clean - just about everything you can ask for these days. Presented in the aspect ratio of 1.78:1, it is also 16x9 enhanced. This is pretty close to the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1.

    As mentioned, this transfer is very sharp and detailed throughout, with no evidence of any edge enhancement. Shadow detail is handled very well and grain is virtually non-existent. There is no low level noise. What more can you ask for?

    Colours are quite splendid with deep and brightly saturated tones when required such as at the basketball games and in the Composure magazine offices. Skin tones are spot-on and black levels are perfect. There are no problems with bleeding or oversaturation. Bright and breezy and very colourful are probably the best ways to sum up this effort.

    I saw no MPEG artefacts. Being a new film, I hoped there would be few, if any film artefacts. I was not disappointed as this is a very clean and near-pristine transfer in that regard with only a handful of small white specks scattered here and there.

    There are several subtitle options. I sampled the English for the Hearing Impaired. They are mostly accurate and well positioned on screen. I watched the film completely with them on during the director's commentary and found them to be adequate for the job, though the odd word or phrase was abridged enough that the full meaning of the sentence may occasionally be lost.

    This is a dual layered disc with RSDL formatting. The layer change is at 45:14. It is really quite noticeable and though occurring at a quiet moment results in a quite jarring pause.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are two audio soundtracks on this disc. There's a Dolby Digital 5.1 track in English and a Dolby Digital 2.0 commentary track also in English. I listened to both soundtracks in full.

    In true romantic comedy style, the soundtrack is anchored pretty much to the centre channel, except for when the score and other songs crank in or when in a busy moment, such as at the Knicks games, or in the crowded bar scenes. During these times the front soundstage opens up dramatically and is quite engaging.

    The dialogue is easily understood, clear and in sync at all times.

    The score is credited to David Newman and while fairly typical of the romantic comedy style, is still bright, breezy, and entertaining. There's also plenty of safe contemporary songs scattered throughout.

    There is not a significant amount of surround channel activity which is hardly surprising given the sort of film this is. They are mostly utilised for the various noises that emanate from the busy Manhattan streets and at the noisy bars and parties.

    The subwoofer is also fairly quiet, but it is really not missed.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Audio & Animation

Audio Commentary - Donald Petrie (Director)

    Donald Petrie is a relaxed and articulate speaker who does tend to lapse into simply stating what is occurring on-screen a little too often. In between, he does offer plenty of anecdotes and in particular points out the many times the cast were throwing in their own improvised lines into the script. This seemed to happen an awful lot and watching the reactions of the other cast members when you know a line is improvised or unrehearsed is quite a bit of fun.

Featurette - Mapping Out The Perfect Movie

    Ok, first things first. Message to disc authors - when you have 15 mini-chapters in a making-of featurette (which is what this is despite the flash name), PLEASE can we have a play all option. The 15 different chapters range in length from 1:40 to 5:22 and having to select each one individually is a real pain. Total running time for this featurette is 49:25.

    Based on interviews with the key players, the chapters cover everyone from the two main stars, the supporting cast, the director, the producers, the location manager, the production designer, and even the authors of the little picture book that this film is based upon. Some are fluff, some are quite interesting - I will leave you to wade through them all to decide.

    This featurette is supported by the same subtitles as the film.

Alternative Version

    This is listed as a deleted scene but is actually an alternative opening sequence showing Andie researching a story at a cat-walk parade with several supermodels. It provides the necessary exposition about her wanting to write a story about the political situation in Tajikistan. Running time is 2:35.

Deleted Scenes

    There are five deleted scenes available via the menu here, though one is technically an alternative opening sequence which I have detailed above. All are brief and actually helped link together a couple of odd bits of continuity which I found a little jarring in the story. All are available to play with or without commentary from the director. Running time is between 0:45 and 2:35 with a total running time of 6:28 minutes.

Featurette - Mapping Out The Perfect Location

    Similarly conceived to the Mapping Out The Perfect Movie featurette, this one deals with the various locations used around Manhattan. Interviews with the location manager are what dominates each of the mini-chapters in addition to repeats of the scenes featuring each particular location. Themed around a map of Manhattan, it is quite well conceived. Total running time for all the locations is 21:27.

    This featurette is supported by the same subtitles as the film.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 disc misses out on:

    The Region 1 disc misses out on:

    While the additional extras (music video and bonus trailers) available on the Region 1 disc are not all that significant, the inclusion of two extra soundtracks does sway me to favour that release purely in a technical sense. For those that simply want the film and a decent Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, either release will suffice.

Summary

    How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days is a light-weight romantic comedy that, while not offering anything substantially original, benefits greatly from two lead actors who share a real chemistry on screen. Kate Hudson is delightful in her role as the effervescent Andie and Matthew McConaughey provides charm, wit, and rugged good looks in his role as Ben.

    The video quality is sensational, with nary a trace of a problem.

    The audio is clean and crisp, and while being dominated by the front soundstage should surely please.

    The extras are a little lightweight and clumsily executed, but suit the type of film that this is.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Saturday, November 15, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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