Through the miracle of my Netflix queue I received But I'm a Cheerleader
and How to Loose a Guy in 10 Days
at the same time.But I'm a Cheerleader
, a romantic comedy/satire about camps that "treat" homosexuality, was actually a far better example of the romantic comedy genre than 10 Days
, even though it was an upbeat ripoff of Girl interrupted
. It was a better because it featured a relationship that was more satisfying between characters that actually engendered my sympathy.
After making myself watch How to Loose a Guy in 10 Days
straight through the middle of the second act, I wanted to wash my mind out with Meg Ryan movies. Or maybe Two Weeks Notice
, my current guilty pleasure that's been running on cable recently. Instead I flipped forward through the DVD trying to find a chapter stop that didn't make me squirm.
While the initial setup in Cheerleader
was clunky and cliched, ultimately the relationships between the characters had real chemistry and the characters themselves genuine vulnerability. Not so with 10 Days
, which was less a romantic comedy than a bitter sendup of sexed behavior.
One of the profound failings of the script for 10 Days
is that it doesn't set up the relationship between the principles in a way that makes it believable that these two characters could have genuine feelings for one another. Neither one is actually invested in the other as a human being. Advertising guy, Ben, just wants the chick to stay with him long enough to take her to a party so he can get the chance to bag an account -- and to score seats to a Knicks game along the way through her -- and columnist chick, Andie, wants to use him as fodder for a column she's writing for the Cosmo-look-alike magazine she works for.
The major premise of the column Andie is doing research for is that women torpedo their own relationships because they feel too much, they are too demanding, and can't just sit back and enjoy the sex without making it be all about a future together. Michelle, one of Andie's work buddies, seems to do all that and more. And with her guidance she's going to help Andie loose the guy she expertly bagged.
The behavior that Andie, and we can assume her buddy Michelle, engages in is nothing short of embarrassing. Not because women do it, but because the behavior is obnoxious and rude. This isn't feminine behavior she's portraying so much as behavior that is selfish, self-centered, and downright boorish, with a patriarchaly informed feminine twist.
By midway through the movie I thought Ben was an ass for using this girl to get clients, and into a Knicks game when she obviously had plans to go with someone else who she didn't just meet, and Andie was an ass for shamelessly engaging in the type of behavior she was indulging in to get this man to flee. Both characters felt like they were bland caricatures of stereotypes -- not even caricatures of people -- draining even the slightest interest on my part to care about them.But I'm a Cheerleader
's script was very derivative and the art direction absurd, but they at least managed to create characters I could care about through the script and the acting. There was chemistry and heart which made the romance satisfying. There was nothing satisfying or even funny about How To Loose A Guy In 10 Days
.... Well beyond the costume design. Everybody looked really spiffy. I just wouldn't want to hang out with the vapid jerks.