Sunday, May 06, 2007

Four Fundamentally Wrong Aspects of the Movie "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days"

Chick flicks are really not my thing. I like them if they're well made (see: Working Girl), but if they're thrown together and cliched, they're reeeeeaaaalllly bad. And unfortunately, that definition comprises most of the genre (see: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days).

I settled in with a bottle of red and the remote this weekend only to find How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days playing on the We network. Considering my mental state (not totally balanced, but more on that much later) and my unwillingness to rise from the couch and my wine glass to pop in another DVD, I made the decision to watch it despite the fact I absolutely hated it when I saw it the first time. Choosing to watch the movie was much like confronting an old foe: "Ah, subpar chick flick. We meet again, yes? You want to convince me of your quality, you say? We'll see about that. Oh, yes, we'll see about that." Do I need to mention that I'd been into the wine already?

What I found surprised me a little. The movie wasn't quite as bad as I'd remembered, if only for the mildly entertaining performances by Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey, who is apparently required to ride a motorcycle in every leading-man role he signs on for. Actually, it's not hard for me to watch McConaughey in anything. You could sit me down in a dark theater to view a film of McConaughey watching paint dry, and I'd probably still consider it $11 well spent.

That is not my central point, though. My central point is that the first time I watched HTLAGITD, I did not live in New York. Now, I live in the city and was able to spot the wild inaccuracies that dot the movie. I'm not even talking your standard "Friends" inaccuracies, such as renting a huge apartment on an out-of-work actor's salary or the fact that everyone, including extras, is model-attractive. Let me break it down:

1. Kate Hudson's attempt to write "serious articles" for Composure magazine
-There is no way in hell that any woman working at a women's glossy in the city would whip up a little Word document on "serious issues" and try and give it to the editor in chief like there's a place for it in the mag. "Hey, Kate White, here's a little piece on genocide in Darfur I've been knocking around for the past week. Wanna put it in the mag, maybe next to the teal-bracelet roundup?" (This problem was familiar to me. See: Thirteen Going on 30 and her crazy ideas for the magazine.)

2. Depiction of Staten Island
-In the movie, Matthew McConaughey is supposedly from Staten Island. I sat up when I heard that, because I didn't remember that detail from my first viewing. So he takes Kate Hudson there (across the Verrazano on his motorcycle, natch). In movie-speak, "Staten Island" must mean "West Texas," because his entire family has a Southern accent, is white, and is playing cards on the back deck over some nice brews. What the hell? Even saying he lived in Jersey would have been slightly more believable.

3. Composure magazine's printing schedule
-I rolled when Kate Hudson waltzed into the editor in chief's office and said, "I can't do this article." As. If. She. Had. A. Choice. And then EIC Bebe Neuwirth said something like, "The cover is already at the printer, so have a draft on my desk in 48 hours." From what I understand of the magazine industry, there is no possible way the cover could be "at the printer" before stories were even in. Doesn't work that way. Also, giving Kate Hudson TWO DAYS to write the rest of the piece? That's an eternity in medialand. Bebe would have flipped out and made her turn it in in 15 minutes. And then, the "article" she finally turns in? Notsomuch a service piece. At all. Especially for a "how-to" reporter. (This problem was also familiar to me. See: Never Been Kissed and what passes for immersion journalism at the end of the film.)

4. Use of taxis
-Apparently, Kate quits Composure, and, the very next day, goes to Washington for an "interview." What kind of interview? We can't know. But I certainly hope it's for a "serious journalist" position. That's not even the problem, though. As Matthew McConaughey chases her down (on his motorcycle, natch) she's in a taxi. A taxi? To Washington, D.C.? That'll be $5,000, please. And even if I misunderstood and she were on her way to La Guardia, that doesn't make sense, either. She'd obviously take the train or bus rather than a plane. But the train wouldn't make for a very good McConaughey-on-motorcycle scene, now would it?

So, after my movie-viewing death match with HTLAGITD? Yep, it's still awful, just in different ways.


My intelligence: 0 HTLAGITD: 2

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Blogger Phil said...

Hi Jane,

I think that I have only watched a movie once that I had really disliked before, I don't think that I had ever watched it a second time, at least I can't ever recall doing that before.

That must have been like torment for you to watch something that you didn't like from the first viewing to watch it a second time. Hopefully the wine was good though.

3:54 AM  
Blogger NewbietoNYC said...

You hit the nail on the head, Phil: The wine was *excellent*.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Had To Move said...

re: use of taxi -- I felt the same way when the cast of "How I Met Your Mother" FLEW to Philadelphia. From New York. RIGHT. (ps thx for the link, glad i found you!)

10:38 AM  

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