Australian Council on Children and the Media

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

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Short takes

Not recommended under 12 , PG to 13 (Sexual references; Coarse language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
  • a review of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 27 April 2003.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 12 Not recommended due to sexual references and coarse language
Children 12-14 Parental guidance recommended due to seual references and coarse language
Children 15 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Medium level coarse language, Sexual references
Length 115 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Andie Anderson is a ‘would be’ serious journalist working for a women’s magazine called Composure which publishes articles such as “I lost my virginity now I want it back”. Andie decides to write an article called ‘How to lose a guy in 10 days’ after her friend Michelle was ‘dumped’ by her boyfriend. Andie’s boss wants her to write from experience, therefore not only does she have to write the article but she has to find an unsuspecting guy to test her theories on. She is promised that if she does she’ll be allowed to write something serious. The guy she chooses is an ambitious advertising man called Ben. Ben on the other hand has taken on a bet to prove that he can make any girl fall in love with him and if he does he’ll win a prestigious diamond company’s business. The girl he choses is of course Andie. The result is sometimes hilarious with Andie making all the wrong moves designed to turn a guy off while Ben puts up with all of this in order to win his bet. In the process they end up falling in love but are not prepared for the truth of the whole affair.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is only one act of violence in the movie when a man takes offence and punches Ben.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Nothing of concern

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Nothing of concern

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Nothing of concern

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

Nothing of concern

Sexual references

There are quite a lot of sexual references in this movie including the following:

  • Andie’s friend Michelle talks about the first time she had sex and that it made her cry.
  • Andie and Ben go back to his apartment where she rings Michelle to tell her that she’s not going to sleep with him because ‘she can practise self control - not like some people’.
  • Andie calls Ben’s penis ‘Princess Sophia’ and asks if Princess Sophia wants to ‘come out to play’.
  • Ben replies that she could have given it more of a masculine name like Spike or Butch.
  • Ben and Andie talk openly about sex in front of a therapist who is in fact Michelle.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some sexual activity including:

  • After Ben is knocked out he consoles himself by rubbing his head on Andie’s breasts.
  • Andie and Ben fall on the bed and kiss passionately but decide to stop as it’s going ‘too fast’.
  • Ben and Andie take each other’s tops off and shower together – no nudity is shown.

Use of substances

There is drinking of wine and beer in a bar. Ben and his friends smoke cigars while playing poker.

Coarse language

There is frequent coarse language including the following words:

  • arse
  • horseshit
  • fart
  • holy crap

They als play a card game with Ben’s family called ‘Bullshit’ where this word is repeated many times.

In a nutshell

The take home message from this film would be that if you don’t care about someone else’s feelings you could end up getting hurt yourself.

This film is about two ruthless people who value their career more than their relationships with other people. Therefore there are no values in this film that parents would like to encourage but several that they might like to discourage including:

  • deceit
  • lying
  • being uncaring
  • selfishness
  • remorselessness

 

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