“How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” Revolutionized Rom-Coms 20 Years Ago

Twenty years ago, Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey ushered in a golden age of aspiring feminist rom-coms that has yet to be replicated.

The premise was simple enough: a no-nonsense, non-conformist, effeminate “guy’s girl” journalist sets out to fall in love with a man – all for the sake of a big break from work. When How to Lose a Boyfriend in 10 Days hit theaters on February 7, 2003, the romantic comedy starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey ushered in a new generation of a resurgent rom-com subgenre: the all-female, queer romances. journalists.

In the Donald Petrie film, Andie Anderson (Hudson) half-jokingly suggests that all “we no tips from Composure, Cosmo’s fastest-growing women’s magazine where she works, to prove the opposite: being disinterested and unattached is better for getting married, or better yet, finding true love. Kathryn Hahn is her unlucky-in-love co-worker whose exploits inspire Andie to write a new lifestyle article, while Bebe Neuwirth is her ice-cold editor whose likeness appears in everything from “The Bold Type” to “The Devil Wears Prada.” But we’ll get to that later.

Andie soon crosses paths with Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey) — because what’s a rom-com if the names don’t include consecutive alphabet alliterations? — and Bent’s own marketing colleagues challenge him to make a woman (you guessed it!) fall in love with him in 10 days to land the big luxury diamond jeweler account. “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” confirmed McConaughey and Hudson as the new Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan romantic couple, canary-colored slips were everywhere, and journalism seemed like a glossy yet respectable career.

Paying to deceive a man on his behalf research? It sounds like heaven, complete with a killer wardrobe, colleagues who are more like friends, and the drive (and ever-present opportunity) to explore more meaningful stories.

How to lose a guy in 10 days

Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey: How to Lose a Boyfriend in 10 Days?


How to Lose a Boyfriend in 10 Days is far from the first female journalist rom-com. It goes back to “His Girl Friday” (1940), “Christmas in Connecticut” (1945), “Broadcast News” (1987), “Sleepless in Seattle” (1993, referenced in the film), “Never.” for movies. Been Kissed’ (1999) and ‘Brown Sugar’ (2002). These films center around either sparks with like-minded colleagues or covert operations that prove the leading lady’s new love interest.

Even in “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (1997), Julia Roberts played a food critic, while Sally (Meg Ryan) worked for New York Magazine in “When Harry Met Sally” (1989). No one can forget the TV series “Sex and the City”, which also influenced the fate of female columnists.

But every iteration of this character trope—the hard-working but fun, reluctant “it” girl whose career is really a lifestyle—was most embodied and popularized in the romantic comedies of the early 2000s, and arguably How to Lose a Boyfriend in 10 days”. “

“There was a very feminist twist to that movie, and it really inspired young girls, and that makes me very happy,” Hudson said recently on “The Today Show” (via People). “Now there’s a new generation of journalists who say, ‘Andie Anderson made me want to be a journalist.’

Co-star Kathryn Hahn added Vanity Fair, “I think this movie is just a joy: beautiful people and souls, a sufficiently complex setting, real female friendships, a woman with ambition and a desire for authenticity. Kate and I just did a rag (for “Glass Onion”) and I can’t tell you how many journalists said they were inspired by Andie Anderson.

As Andie ruins the boys’ night out by getting Ben to attend a Celine Dion concert instead of a Knicks game, yelling that a “love fern” has withered, and throwing a hairless dog in Ben’s face, she’s the epitome of all unlovable “srifers.” features. But at the heart of it, Andie is still effortlessly cool and approachable even in her pseudo-craziness.

In the end, Andie even becomes likable. It’s a “Bullshit” game set in Staten Island with Ben’s family that solidifies the budding true romance between the fake couple and eventually wins Ben back after the screw-up (at a gala, no less) is revealed in his article. that he “lost the only guy I ever fell in love with.” Andie later quits Composure and is on her way to Washington DC to save the world and inadvertently get her man back with the help of the printed word.

Imagine growing up with female role models like Jenna Rink in 13 Going on 30 (2004) and Andy Sachs in The Devil Wears Prada (2006). Both a corporate celebration of women’s determination to present the perfect story and, ultimately, the man, the trend was essentially a rubber stamp for the third wave of feminist careers in Hollywood.

Hate rules? Scared of the idea of ​​a booth? Or at age 10, like watching beautiful, independent women with seemingly attainable lives hit the ground running happily? A rom-com about a female journalist answered everything.

“It’s actually quite a feminist film, and I think that resonates a lot with young girls: the idea that women are in control of their own destiny, their own lives and their own purpose, and the fact that journalist Andie (who ) does a job that , which he doesn’t really want to do, and he decides to pursue his dream,” Hudson said Vanity Fair in honor of the film’s 20th anniversary. “It’s a very strong female character that a lot of women relate to.”

The age of wide-eyed (and let’s be real, white and middle-class) girl superheroes everywhere. In these films, the corporate ladder was almost always led by women, and the editor-in-chief position was filled by Anna Wintour doppelgängers. Magazine journalism offered a safe space to try new experiences for the sake of the story, as opposed to the stuffy, heated and crowded press launch meetings (the spilled coffee, the grumpy men, no thanks.)

Almost parallel to magazine journalism was the production of programs, as shown by “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (1970), “Bridget Jones’s Diary” (2001), “Someone Like You” (2001), “The Ugly Truth” presented. ” (2009), “Morning Glory” (2010), and many more. And yet there was something about the women-only newsrooms for magazine journalists that created a special, rigorously original and empowering environment on screen.

"13 Continued 30"

Jennifer Garner in “13 Going on 30”.


Films such as Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009) and Letters to Julia (2010) and the series The Bold Type (2017) continued the female journalist rom-com subgenre, with mixed results in later years. Even How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2009) felt like a direct response. “Girls,” while a then-unprecedented twist on the implicit expectations of female writers, broke new ground when it debuted in 2012. Even “How to Lose a Boyfriend in 10 Days” star McConaughey detailed how the film’s poster was reproduced in dozens of rom-com marketing campaigns for years afterward. The film was quite simply the epitome of big-concept filmmaking in an era that now seems to have passed away.

There’s a reason “How to Lose a Boyfriend in 10 Days,” “13 at 30,” and “The Devil Wears Prada” are constantly being sought after for sequel ideas. Sure, the fashion, the reputation of the right stars and the pre-built IP make them attractive; but the lingering nostalgia is what makes these films strangely relevant anyway. They liken it to the promise of breaking into capitalism, an all-encompassing escape from what they see as the limits of adulthood. There’s still a fantasy of the possibility that anything can happen at any moment, as long as you’re open to the idea (or the story) of it, including meeting that special someone.

While Anne Hathaway is diligently recalling Andy Sachs from “The Devil Wears Prada,” the Oscar winner is “The view” that the film could never have been made today. “I think that movie was in a different era. Everything is so digital now,” Hathaway said. “That movie centers around the concept of creating a physical thing, and it’s very different.”

"Devil wears Prada"

Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada


Hudson similarly spoke of how rom-coms have been “dumbed down” in recent years.

“(They need) a really good story, let’s start with that,” Hudson said on the “Hot Ones” YouTube show. “I think sometimes people think rom-coms are about ‘meeting cute.’ A great rom-com about meeting love, discovering love, falling in love, falling out of love and then getting back together. It’s a very traditional rom-com structure.”

He continued: “What we love is having two movie stars in a love story. They are bright and shiny and like a wish come true. It’s supposed to make you feel fuzzy, and then it stays with you forever. They are the most classic. I think the genre is a bit dumbed down because they think they know. And then the chemistry… so I’m thankful that it was me and Matthew (McConaughey) because he’s great.”

"How to lose a guy in 10 days"

Kate Hudson: How to lose a boyfriend in 10 days?


Grayling Zippy, 53.4 percent of all journalists are women, most of whom are based in New York, as depicted in the aforementioned respective rom-coms. The statistic has increased by approximately 16 percent since 2001, when the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) estimated that 37 percent of news anchors were women. Nieman reports However, in 2002, as reported in the AV Club in 2014, journalists accounted for 0.067 percent of the total professional population.

So what are we left with in this ‘dumbed down’ rom-com era when it comes to career aspirations on screen? Well, from event planners to bakers, architects to bookstore owners, the whimsical professions of rom-com-ready women are left out of Hallmark movies and the occasional blockbuster.

How to Lose a Boyfriend in 10 Days star Hudson describes this persistent desire to seek “fulfillment” that unknowingly launched a generation of women who spent the next two decades pursuing the ideal lifestyle. career, and of course the ideal partner.

So would Andie Anderson work at The Washington Post today or run a Goop-like business? Or dare we say a bakery in a small town that only exists in golden autumn? Indeed, the future of the rom-com seems to depend on the answer. Andie, we’re waiting.

Register: Stay up to date with the latest movie and TV news! Subscribe to our email newsletter here.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *