If you’re on TikTok, you have probably heard about this movie a lot recently. Whether it be people purchasing a look alike for Andie Anderson’s iconic, backless yellow dress or people unpacking the feminism (or lack thereof) in the movie, people are talking about it again.
I say “again” because this movie came out in 2003, but has sparked recent conversations. Since the movie is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, lots of people are revisiting the love story between Ben and Andie. However, what I find most interesting is the groups of young people that are watching this movie for the first time in 2023 and how they see the underlying themes.
Other 2000s era rom-coms come around every now and then for a good time, but this is a different story. In this article, we’ll be exploring why How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is popular again.
1. The Plot
Unlike other rom coms from this same era, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days follows a completely unique plot and love story. It’s not where you meet the guy or girl and fall in love, or even meet them and hate them, then fall in love. This movie is actually multi-layered in how they meet and then plan to break up.
First, Andie (Kate Hudson) tells her boss at “Composure” magazine that she will write a “dating how-to in reverse,” and drive a guy away with her behavior. Then, her boss tells two advertising executives of this ruthless plan, not knowing that they work with Benjamin Barry or who he is.
Ben (Matthew McConaughey) bets his colleagues, these same two executives, that he can make any woman fall in love with him. As a result, they pick Andie, knowing that she will be driving him away for the sake of her article.
So, she wants to meet a guy to try out some wild dating behavior and then have him break up with her. And he wants to make any girl fall in love with him in order to win an account at work. The couple is immediately at odds because they both want out, but can’t end it for the sake of their careers.
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It’s mighty complicated, but entertaining because you do not expect it to work out at all. In fact, they don’t really seem to make strides in a relationship until the very end of the movie. This unexpected and hilarious plot feels almost like a Shakespearean comedy and could explain why so many people are re-watching this year.
2. The Music
Like other popular rom coms, this movie has a killer soundtrack that will make all millennials nostalgic. It seems like from social media, younger viewers are watching this movie for the first time and discovering new anthems for their lives. To highlight a few iconic moments, here are the three top songs in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
- “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon
If you don’t know this song, you’re in for a laugh while watching How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. The song refers to being vain in a relationship and comes up a couple of times in the movie. It has since become a huge joke on TikTok where people are using the scene from the movie to narrate funny moments.
- “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None The Richer
This song reminds me of going to the mall when I was in middle school. It’s the perfect upbeat, catchy love song for a funny rom com like this one.
- “Somebody Like You” by Keith Urban
Lastly, every rom com needs an iconic montage song. It’s even better if it’s a falling-in-love montage song. This is the perfect example as Keith Urban sings in the background when Andie and Ben are bonding while they visit his family in Staten Island. It’s an iconic montage that everyone will remember from this movie.
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This could definitely explain the recent uptick in views and why How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is popular again. You can stream the full movie soundtrack on Spotify.
3. Game Play
In a world where most people are now using online dating apps, movies that show a pre-pandemic world and an organic “meet cute” automatically feel nostalgic. It also highlights the wild amount of game play that happens in this movie. In fact, one of the most quoted lines from the movie is “true or false? All is fair in love and war.” Both Andie and Ben think it’s true and prove that by playing games with each other in their courtship.
In 2023, “ghosting” culture is real and I can pretty much guarantee that Andie and Ben’s story wouldn’t play out in the same way today. For one, she leaves behind her purse after their first date so that he would find her NY Knicks tickets and call her the next day. The fact that everyone has digital tickets on their phone make this nearly impossible now. Plus, it would be too easy to ghost Andie when she starts calling Ben frequently to annoy him into breaking up with her.
Another example is when Ben delivers flowers to Andie’s office, which doesn’t happen like it used to. Most people work from home for all or part of the week, so big, romantic gestures at work feel like they have become a thing of the past.
Their level of game play in the dating world revolves around in-person events. Let’s hope Covid didn’t block too many love stories. However, this could definitely explain people’s newfound obsession with the film. It’s fun to watch them play games with each other as they take on NYC dating.
As I mentioned earlier, Andie’s yellow dress has become a complete phenomenon this year, especially on TikTok. In the age of finding “dupes” for everything, especially for less money, the influencers went wild and found some incredible options for this yellow dress.
When you google “andie anderson yellow dress,” an endless amount of recreations will now pop up that you can purchase. Not everyone will look good in this shade of yellow, but if you can rock it, chances are you will go viral on social media.
Not only does the movie highlight this one iconic fashion moment, but the rest of the movie includes lots of 90s-2000s fashion looks that are back in style today. In general, it seems like Generation Z (Gen z) has an obsession with 2000s fashion. One notable example that comes to mind is the work chic look that many people are wearing lately. Trousers, blazers, and work attire made to look trendy are very popular so far in the 2020s. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days shows Andie and her girl friends in lots of work attire ensembles that women today are recreating.
Feminism with a big question mark at the end is fitting for a conversation about this movie. It seems to go back and forth between female empowerment and the male gaze, which has sparked conversations in 2023.
Specifically, Andie clearly cares a lot about her career as a journalist and dedicates her time to “Composure” until she realizes that she cannot write about politics or other important issues. By the end of the movie, she pursues a job in Washington D.C. so that she can have an opportunity to write for a news publication. The movie clearly shows a hardworking female lead who is committed to having a meaningful career, which echoes a strong female energy.
However, in her efforts to write an article about “how to lose a guy in 10 days,” she makes fun of other women and exploits their mistakes, which isn’t very feminist. For example, she decorates Ben’s room with pink stuffed animals, blankets, and period care products. She also changes her personality on purpose suggesting that women are constantly emotional and argumentative.
This is where it gets interesting. Andie is behaving that way as a part of her experiment to get Ben to dump her. However, her actual personality emulates what we call the “cool girl trope” in 2023. The Daily Beast wrote a similar piece about this because Andie is clearly a chill girl or a guy’s girl who loves sports, food, poker, and basically anything that men stereotypically like. This somehow makes men fall in love with her, which encourages women to pretend to be interested in things that men like to get their attention. Whether that was Andie’s intention or not, it is something we now recognize.
Regardless of your opinion on this movie, it’s worth noting that Ben Barry comes around to be a pretty supportive male lead in the end. He wants Andie to be successful, honest, and true to herself, which is all you can hope for in a rom com.
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Will How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Get a Sequel?
While all of this newfound popularity has sparked conversations about the movie, Kate Hudson denied rumors of a sequel in an interview with Vanity Fair this year. It has been proposed in the past, but no one wants to ruin the perfection and complicated story that is How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. So, while you can enjoy this movie with a new lens, you probably won’t get a sequel in the future.
If you have yet to see the movie, you can stream it now on Paramount+ or rent it on Prime Video. You’ll certainly have a lot to think about after this article, but it’s incredibly entertaining. You’ll feel all the 2000s nostalgia and laugh at the dating game play. Plus, you’ll be clued into a bunch of references that pop up on social media.