‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’ Is Based on a Satirical Book

Almost 20 years have passed since the hit movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days premiered. But it remains a favorite of many. The film stars Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey in one of several appearances together, and their on-screen chemistry is just part of what makes the flick beloved. It is full of humor and relatable relationship issues, and many can agree that it is truly fun to watch. What a lot of fans may not know is that How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is actually based on a satirical book.

What ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’ is about

how to lose a guy in 10 days
Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson On Location for “How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days” at Fifth Avenue in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by RJ Capak/WireImage)

Set in New York City, the film stars Hudson as advice columnist Andie Anderson and McConaughey as advertising executive Benjamin Barry. The pair enter into a relationship with ulterior motives — Andie tries to drive Barry away as fodder for her column (leading to the movie’s title), while he tries to make her fall in love with him to win a bet at work. 

Hilarity ensues as the two drive each other crazy over the next week and a half. But after a disastrous party where they each found out what the other was up to, they realize that they are actually in love. It’s the classic romantic comedy ending. 

The movie was based on a book

While How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is a book, it’s not the story from the film. Rather, it’s, as  Insider describes it, “a comical cartoon guide” called about the “universal donts of dating.” 

The illustrated book was written by Michele Alexander and Jeannie Long. It outlines things that many people do without giving it a second thought: calling someone your boyfriend (or girlfriend) immediately after the first date, talking in a baby voice, and saying “I love you” way too soon. These are all things that Anderson does in the film. The twist is that Barry falls in love rather than running away as fast as possible as most people do in real life.

While the ideas inspired the flick, the book wasn’t exactly the typical novel-to-screen adaptation. However, the screenwriters paid tribute to its authors by naming two of Anderson’s coworkers after them.

‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’ definitely had an impact

With the stars’ chemistry and the unique concept, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days resonated with audiences. However, it received mixed reviews at the time, despite performing well at the box office. 

So what gave the film its staying power? “Unlike a lot of rom-coms, it really said something about men and women, and ‘men are from Mars, women are from Venus,’ and how we react opposite each other,” director Donald Petrie told E! News in 2021. He added, “Men liked it as much as women did, which is not always the case with rom-coms.”

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