What is it with Matthew McConaughey? He's good-looking, smart, hard-working. Hell, he's not even that bad at acting. But the man seems cursed to spend his days stuck in screamingly average movies. Like this one - - a rom-com that could easily have been titled How To Lose Your Potential In 10 Years.
It sees Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson), a writer for Composure magazine, pitching a story about how to seduce a guy and then drive him away inside of 10 days. Snagging hotshot advertising exec Benjamin Barry (McConaughey) as her test subject, she duly subjects him to all the things women know men hate. She makes "Bennikins" miss the big game, lets her dog piss on his pool table, names his penis Princess Sophia... You get the picture. But Ben keeps coming back. Why? Because he's playing a game of his own: he's made a bet that he can make any girl fall for him in - - that's right - 10 days.
A ludicrous excuse for a movie? Definitely. But look, this is the manure that rom-coms grow in - - and if they're sweet and funny, we let 'em get away with it. This almost gets away with it, the malicious little seed of a premise flowering into a bouquet of harmless hokum that's sprinkled with enough pleasant chuckles to keep things healthy for 90 minutes. Thing is, helmer Donald Petrie reckons he can stretch it close to two hours. No chance, and when the ideas run dry the story withers, with the clichés sprouting thick and fast.
Still, even if their join-the-dots romance doesn't fizzle with chemistry, Hudson and McConaughey are just too darn likeable to let this become a total drag. Hudson's charming enough to stay on the right side of irritating, flashing those pearly whites whenever she needs to get viewers back on side, while McConaughey can play the Southern softie in his sleep by now... But is that really all you want from a movie?