Directed by Donald Petrie starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey.

Andie Anderson (Hudson) is Composure Magazine's 'How To' babe, offering bright, shiny copy on everything from sweet-talking policemen out of giving you a parking ticket to the perils of shopping. She wants more from her job, problem is, articles like 'How to Bring Peace to Tajikistan' don't really fit with Composure's demographic. So she strikes a deal with her editor, if Andie will write a what-not-to-do article for women, 'How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days', she can break out of self-help hell. Now to find the guy…

Across town is ad exec Ben Barry (McConaughey). He desperately wants to manage a big diamond contract but faces competition from two office vamps who are also Composure insiders. Desperate to take the next step up, Ben agrees to the vamps' bet: if he can make someone fall head over heels for him in ten days, he gets the job. Now to find the girl...

People who leave 'How to…' sobbing about not knowing what you've got until it's gone aren't saying this rom-com imitates life, just that it had the potential to be so much more. For half an hour, as Hudson puts McConaughey through one humiliation after another, it's great. It hits the right groove between laugh and look away and more than makes up for the clichéd characters and TV show feel.

Hudson takes her chance to shine with wide-eyed glee, leaving McConaughey - in character and person - with a look of second best all over his face. But Petrie can't make his mind up what he wants the rest of the film to be and after nearly cornering the market in fluffy date movies that two can agree on, he manages to lose an audience by playing it safe right to the close. Andie visits Ben's parents, there's a motorbike lesson, soft music, sweaty clothes go the way of humour and the nausea just keeps building... The big revelation that they're both playing each other screams missed opportunity as loud as any unhinged date, while the race-against-the-clock finale will have blokes looking at their watch for all the wrong reasons.

Wander in after 30 minutes and split an hour later, otherwise you may feel like you've been used.

Harry Guerin