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Haz-Mat Theater: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Dr. Royce Clemens   |  

Doom DispatchDedicated in giving you the worst in motion pictures, this is Haz-Mat Theater”¦

Case One: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

Fuck this movie.

I wish I could be more delicate in my choice of words”¦ Well, actually no I don’t, but still. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is less a movie and more a war crime. It will turn you orange and sterile. It was directed by an evil man named Donald Petrie, who also did Just My Luck and Miss Congeniality, and the combination of the three broke my evil scale. Going beyond a warlord who will sentence you to torture and death because you smell funny, Petrie is actually the old guy in the trucker hat behind the supermarket, offering you spare change to touch your junk.

Before Judd Apatow movies got predictable and hackneyed, before you even knew who Judd Apatow was, romantic comedies were like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. For those of you with severely diminished memories, the rom-coms of yore involved impossibly attractive men and women who did their best to pummel and hurt each other both psychologically and emotionally through contrivance in a world that resembles ours in name only. Many women liked them because they were impeccably sad creatures who went mad over the fact that not all men wax. Men-folk did not like these movies, but did put up with them in the faint and often futile hopes of a squeezer in the parking lot of the theater for having to sit through ninety minutes of this torturous bullshit.

This was the last big one before the shit went down, and it’s awful in a way that will affect the genetic course of human history. Literally, from the opening day-glo pink frame, you will beg for death. I didn’t know it was even possible to shoot blood from the bridge of your nose, but by God IT HAPPENED.

An asexual plastic elf named Andie (Kate Hudson) works for one of these goofy-ass ladies magazines with catchy article names like “Eyelid Leeches: Can They Make You Look Younger?“ and “Bleed, Puke & Shit Yourself Thin: The Ebola Diet..” After one of her friends gets dumped a week and a half into her relationship, Andie viciously exploits her pain for a prospective article on how to ward off a man in ten days. THIS”¦ is our heroine.

Meanwhile, across town, a hillbilly fuckstick named Ben (Matthew McConaughey) works at an ad agency, and wants to break into lucrative diamond advertisements. The lead on the account belongs to two sharp-tongued harridans (Michael Michele and Shalom Harlow), but the head of the agency (Robert Klein) will give Ben the lead if he can get a girl to fall in love with him in ten days. Doesn’t give a shit about what Ben does with the girl AFTER the ten day deadline, but make sure she’s on the floor panting BEFORE. This miserable ass is our hero.

Andie and Ben meet at a party, and what happens after that will ramp up the therapy bills for every right-thinking member of the audience.

She acts like a soggy tampon and does all sorts of horrifying shit to drive this guy into the ground. She lets one of those Godawful foo-foo dogs piss on his card table, nicknames his dinger “Princess Sophia,” does creepy photoshops of what their kids will look like, etc. And because his motivations are equally impure, he sits there and takes it. Will they find love at the end? Yes. Do they actually deserve it because they’re using each other for short-term gain? No.

I’ve listened to women who say they love this movie because it shows a woman acting like a complete ass and the man can’t call her on it. These people will breed, and the resulting spawn will steal your hubcaps and eat all your Doritos.

I did not laugh, giggle, chortle, guffaw, smirk, or even crack a smile during this travesty. It’s a comedic dead zone and a romantic wasteland. Apparently people will flock to rom-coms even though love isn’t actually involved.

The most frightening thing about this movie is its elitist attitude. You can find this in most any romantic comedy. Everybody’s rich and beautiful and everyone who isn’t is used for a punchline. They even devote a monologue to how diamonds are a status symbol and aren’t for everyone.

Yes, if you can’t afford diamonds, this movie wants you to go fuck yourself. Fascism isn’t dead, folks.

But it’s a dud in all the other way as well. Kate Hudson is quirky in ways that defy physics. In a normal world, Hudson would be asking me if I wanted fries with my burger, but since she came out of Goldie Hawn’s cha-cha, she has been put here SPECIFICALLY to make my life a living hell. She is the living, screeching, cutesy embodiment of the gene responsible for Applebee’s waitresses. Do you know if you play this movie backwards, Hudson will ask you if you tried the poppers?

But what of McConaughey? Yeah, what the fuck ABOUT Matthew McConaughey? The only thing he’s ever contributed to the betterment of life throughout his pathetic existence is being so ridiculous that he can be mimicked my Matt Damon on Letterman. And his head is so fucking huge it alters the tides. His presence offends me so much that I can’t even analyze his acting. And they never explain how this hayseed trouser-crust ever made it to New York in the first place.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is unpleasant on every conceivable level. It’s weird that this kind of thing could probably play out on an episode of The Office, but at least that show knows how reprehensible its behavior is. I don’t normally lash out at fans of flicks I don’t like, but if this is your cup of tea, I hope to God it’s poisoned.

THE GOOD: The supporting cast is decent I guess. Bebe Neuwirth can always spice up a movie in little glimmers here and there.

THE SCURVY: Vile in virtually every manner, this is the movie for you, if you collect those obscene pictures of babies dressed as sunflowers and shit.

If YOU want a movie ripped to shreds for Haz-Mat Theater, email me at with your suggestions.


  1. Whenever I think of any Matthew McConaughey film, I think of your review of We Are Marshall where you wrote that letter to him.

    Yeah, this film has all of the evil you described. It would have been cool if Harmony Korine or Gus Van Sant directed it.
    Wait, Van Sant did direct it, it’s called Finding Forester.

    Great Review, my friend.

    Comment by Jerry — April 23, 2008 @ 3:57 pm

  2. LOL This review had me rollin’ I agree…this film isn’t all that great. I, too, wonder how McConaughey gets jobs because he really isn’t that great of an actor. Must be his uncanny ability to repel shirts or something. And Kate Hudson needs to do something like ALMOST FAMOUS again. Looking like your mom could get you so far. Excellent write up. I look forward to more Haz-Mat Theater.

    Comment by Fred [The Wolf] — April 23, 2008 @ 6:43 pm

  3. I’ve never seen this movie and never wanted to either. But as luck would have it, it’s on cable right this minute and I just can’t look away, especially after what you wrote here. This movie SUCKS. The scene where she tells him to get her soda at the Knicks game was SO stupid. But at least McConaughey just got punched out, that was pretty cool. Please tell me Kate Hudson gets punched out too at some point. I’m sure that Fool’s Gold movie is the sequel to this me, right?

    Comment by Empress Eve — April 23, 2008 @ 10:50 pm

  4. @ Empress Eve

    Granted, the gender politics and horrible behavior truly hammer home the fact that HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS is set in a fantasy world that bears no resemblence to our own. But you know what really clinches that fact?

    The Knicks are in the Finals.

    That just doesn’t happen.

    Comment by Dr. Royce Clemens — April 24, 2008 @ 1:24 am

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