Benjamin Barry is an advertising executive and ladies' man who, to win a big campaign, bets that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. Andie Anderson covers the "How To" beat for "Composure" magazine and is assigned to write an article on "How to Lose a Guy in 10 days." They meet in a bar shortly after the bet is made.
Single-girl anxiety causes Kat Ellis (Messing) to hire a male escort (Mulroney) to pose as her boyfriend at her sister's wedding. Her plan, an attempt to dupe her ex-fiancé, who dumped her a couple years prior, proves to be her undoing.
A woman who, by a promise made years earlier, is supposed to marry her best friend in three weeks, even though she doesn't want to. When she finds out that he's marrying someone else, she becomes jealous and tries to break off the wedding. Written by
Robert Krzanowski <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film was a pleasant surprise for me after hearing mixed responses from friends and acquaintances. I can see why it wouldn't appeal to some people : Julia Roberts in a romantic comedy could be pretty slushy stuff; but then again if you watch it wanting that sort of thing you're likely to be disappointed. Yes, so it is romantic and even a bit slushy at times, but has a sharp script and fast pace which keep you amused 95% of the time.
One of the things which appealed to me was the way moments of melodrama were defused into comedy - check out the two girls' confrontation with an audience of women (gathered by the call "Catfight!") whose oohs and aahs forestall any emotional reaction we ourselves may have to the scene.
Some of the camerawork is also more interesting than one might expect, with particularly powerful close-ups where one or two faces fill the screen. Julia Roberts' beauty comes through in a long shot which starts to look like a shampoo commercial: long curly hair spills around her head as she lies in despair on the floor (the public safety message being, don't ever sit with your back against a door which an irate ex-lover might wrench open at any minute); nevertheless, the proximity gives us an intimacy with her character we might otherwise miss.
Another effective shot of this kind (two heads on a pillow fill the screen) drives home the theme touched on here of the devastatingly attractive gay man who is made doubly so by his inaccessibility (as more fully explored in "Object of my Affection"). George (Rupert Everett) is a fantastic character whose sense of fun, wisdom, sensitivity and English accent make him every girls' ideal object for unrequited love (or maybe it's just me ).
The disappointing aspect for me was the film's final affirmation of sexist values and a rather superficial and one-sided view of "real" love - but you 'll have to watch it to see if you agree with me on that. Basically in my opinion, some of the ending lacked the self-awareness and sharpness of the rest of the film. However, overall I would recommend it for an amusing and sometimes clever 90 minutes of celluloid.
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