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Image Borrowed from IMDB.com

Image Borrowed from IMDB.com

Michelle Rubin: Oh, you are never going to pull this off.

Andie: Watch me. Tonight, I’ll hook a guy. Tomorrow, pull the switch. Before the ten days are up, I’m going to have this guy running for his life.
Jeannie Ashcroft: You’re not going to burn his apartment down or bite him, or anything?
Andie: No! I’m going to limit myself to doing everything girls do wrong in relationships. Basically, everything we know guys hate. I’ll be clingy, needy…
Ben: [to himself, on his balcony, waving goodbye to Andy before she gets in her cab] You’re already falling in love with me.
Andie: I’m gonna make you wish you were dead.
[blows away a kiss to Ben up on his balcony]
Andie: Poor guy.

I know most women are sitting there thinking – it’s easy to lose a guy in 10 days!  But, for Andie Anderson (played by Kate Hudson), she just can’t seem to shake this one.  Benjamin Barry (played by Matthew McConahey) is a player and has been challenged to stick it out with one girl AND get her to fall in love with him to prove that he knows how women like to be treated, thus earning him the big account at work – a diamond company.  Andie is a reporter and has been charged with writing an article, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, “doing all the silly things women do in relationships that messes things up – and do it so well, it will happen in 10 days or less.

A diamond is a long-term commitment:  In other words, no sex.  Despite pushing it a little, Andie and Ben fall for each other first.  It’s amazing how the antics Andie pulls in her effort to try to lose Ben get forgiven because he seems to know that the cool, fun (non-crazy) Andie is just around the corner (not to mention the bet).  In fact, on that first night, they go back to Ben’s apartment and Ben debates with himself about sleeping with her in terms of the diamond account, “A diamond is no one night stand.  A Diamond is a long-term commitment” They also have a little talk about not moving too fast because of the need for respect.  Now they do have sex in the movie (the camera does cut away without showing much)… but I still hold that they were in love first, whether they’d admit it or not.  If I had written the movie, we certainly wouldn’t have seen sex within the first ten days of dating (and preferably not until after getting hitched), but – I guess that’s why Hollywood doesn’t pay me to write.  😉

Clingy and needy are not attractive:  So, the first evils Andie perpetrates to get Ben to dump her are being clingy and needy.  She calls him at work, repeatedly. She calls his Mom without him and manages to help herself to a key to his apartment, etc, etc.   These things obviously disturb Ben – but he’s trying to prove he can keep up with the crazy, so he plays along.  But, had the bet not been in place, you can be sure Andie would have been a goner.

I think this is a good way to introduce the idea to youth that restrictions on communication and other forms of contact are healthy, especially in those beginning stages of the relationship.  Sort of an “absence makes the heart grow fonder” sort of approach.  These restrictions prevent the appearance of being needy or clingy and also help promote the idea that healthy relationships are built slowly.  Honestly, there are a lot of adults who could use a dose of it, too!

Date those you can see spending the rest of your life with, but don’t plan the wedding just yet:  While I agree that you shouldn’t date someone you don’t think has the potential to be the one you spend the rest of your life with, I definitely think that planning your life together within the first ten days is just a little unreal. For some reason though, it seems that with boys and girls, they seem to jump to this.  If I understand everything right, I have a relative who dumped at least three boys for professing undying love and talking marriage within the first two to three dates. I admire the commitment, however, that sort of undying love so early seems a little desperate.  Of course, I also realize that boys say a lot of things to try to get girls in the sack, so I also take the “undying love” with a grain of salt.  So when Andie whips out the Family Album filled with photos merging photos of Andie & Ben to show what their kids would look like, Ben is right to be wierded out!

Using people is a no-no:  We’ve talked about it in other posts, but this movie is centered around two individuals who are using each other.  Andie using Ben for her story, and Ben using Andie to win a bet (and land an account).  It’s an endless cycle and in this movie, it makes for great entertainment.  However, we also see how much it hurts them.  They do overcome it, but it is definitely painful for both.

Frost yourself:  In the movie, the idea is that it will be easier to sell more diamonds if women don’t feel they must have them given to them by men.  Now, I’ll admit, I’m not a big jewelry person, and I did not want to go help pick out my engagement ring.  But, I’ve seen so many women who seem to feel that the size of the ring equates with the size of the love and that being showered with jewels and gifts is critical.  I’ve known plenty who got the big rock, and were divorced in no time, and those who couldn’t afford rings, but stayed together for a lifetime.  Now I am not saying that if you get a big rock, the marriage is doomed for failure.  But it’s not about the rock.  The love, commitment, and willingness to work together is what makes a great marriage.

I would also like to use this point to say that you do have to be comfortable in your own skin before you can truly be comfortable with someone else.  That may mean that any diamonds you sport, may have to be self-purchased. 

Don’t be afraid to call “bullshit:”  So, there’s an ongoing game Bullshit in the Barry household.  And, when Ben and Andie first arrive you hear the word thrown around quite frequently.  But all that aside.  Sometimes those same skills used in Bullshit and poker should be employed in daily life.  It’s hard, sometimes, when you really want to make someone happy to forget yourself, bury your interests and all that, but can you keep that up long-term?  You can call Bullshit on yourself, and should.  We also need to recognize that in others.  We need to encourage others to be themselves – the best version of themselves, but themselves none-the-less.

Okay, so to wrap up, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is rated PG-13 for good reason. There’s enough innuendo, language, close calls with sex and a sensual scene, but if watching this with a teenage girl, there’s some great lessons to be learned if you’ll talk with them about it afterward.  You can even talk about how Ben continues to treat Andie, even when she was being crazy Andie.  For the most part, he is patient and caring…  even if it is for a bet.