Every once in a while, I like to take a breather from the usual crap I watch. Since the tender age of three, I have been known to take more than a partial liking to science fiction, horror, action, and western flicks. Preferably the B-Movie kind. But, of course, there’s only so much one can endure without completely transforming into an unkempt basement dweller who subscribes to “Star Wars Insider” and saves his pennies for the eventual day the extended versions of The Lord Of The Rings trilogy land on Blu-ray in a limited edition collector’s set complete with a life-size elven love doll.
No, sometimes I must remind myself that I am a man. And, being one of those human male critters, I enjoy certain manly things — like watching girly movies. In this case, I sat down and check out the new Deluxe Edition of How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.
I had never seen How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days before. It came out in 2003, a time in which I was so clinically depressed that the last thing I wanted to see was the Hollywood façade of happiness. Recently, my fiancée tried to get me to watch her copy of said movie. I refused — on the grounds that it was a full frame pan-and-scan copy. I am a man, after all. And real men refuse to watch moving pictures in an altered aspect ratio. I settled for a cheap '60s Filipino horror film instead.
So, anyway, back to How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. In case you also missed seeing the movie, or you have truly no idea how a romantic comedy is unfolded, here’s the spiel. Andie, an ambitious girly-magazine writer (Kate Hudson) in New York, makes a bet with her boss (Bebe Neuwirth) and colleagues (Kathryn Hahn, Annie Parisse) that she can drive a man running away screaming in 10 days. Coincidentally (that’s the keyword in any romantic comedy, by the way), advertising whiz Ben (Matthew McConaughey) makes a bet with his boss (Robert Klein) and colleagues (Michael Michele, Shalom Harlow) that he can make any woman fall madly in love with him within 10 days.
I’m sure you see where this whole thing is going.
But what sets How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days apart from the countless other romantic comedies set in New York is that — uh, well… hmm.
Ah, it has a longer-yet-easier-to-remember title. That’s it!
The new “Deluxe Edition” of How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days arrives from Paramount complete in a widescreen anamorphic 1.85:1 ratio. The image is much clearer and is a substantial improvement over the old release, although the colors still look a bit muted to me (but of course, this is an SD-DVD and not HD — that’s official guy talk, you know). But, that’s not enough to warrant any sort of conviction from me, especially seeing that this new transfer doesn’t give the entire cast a minor sunburn look like the older DVD did (yes, I actually bothered comparing transfers of How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days — call me crazy if you must).
The original options of English, French or Spanish language tracks and subtitles are once again present for this release. The English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround appears to be the same one used on the last DVD (no, I didn’t go that far in comparing discs — I’m not a complete loon after all). The French and Spanish tracks have received an upgrade to 5.1 (they were only available in 2.0 Surround on the previous issue).
The “Deluxe Edition” comes in a shiny new slipcover with a generous serving of pink — just to test a man’s manly abilities right then and there, I think. A sticker reads “New Bonus Features and 10 New Tips To Drive A Guy Crazy.” The cover opens up (it even has a pink Velcro button to keep it shut — aw!) to reveal — voila! — the exact same 10 steps Kate Hudson uses in the movie to repeal Matthew McConaughey, so I guess that constitutes as a **Spoiler Alert** there, kiddos.
The other “New” bonus materials include the featurettes “How To Make A Movie In 10 Days,” “Why The Sexes Battle,” and “Girls Night Out.” The first and third of these items have interviews with Michelle Alexander and Jeannie Long, the two lasses that inadvertently created the novelty book this film was inspired from. These new features are presented in anamorphic widescreen. The older material (deleted scenes, music video) are still non-anamorphic. The audio commentary from the older release with director Donald Petrie is once again available for your listening pleasure here, but the other older special features (cast and crew interviews and another featurette) have been sacked for this release.
Yes, sad but true: How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days is just like most every other girly romantic comedy I’ve ever seen. But then, most every other manly science fiction, horror, action or western movie I’ve ever seen is pretty much the same. Especially the “B” ones. That said, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days does tend to stand out above the thousands of similar girly movies.
Yes, it has its charms — such as the cast (be sure to check out co-star Thomas Lennon’s impersonation of Scott Lowell as David Hyde Pierce as Tony Randall). It also has its faults, including a sneak attack from composer Marvin Hamlisch and the completely unnecessary and unwanted usage of “Follow You Down” one of the most overused Gin Blossoms hits ever (well, actually, any hit from the Gin Blossoms is overused, really).
Alas, I’m willing to forgive How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days for its faults. After all, I am a man. And besides, it is kind of a cute film — but in the most entirely girly, decidingly non-manly kind of way possible.