A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie has very mature material for a PG-13, including explicit and graphic sexual references and situations. There are references to impotence, orgasms, sex between people who do not know each other very well, and the appropriate name to give to genitals. Characters drink and smoke. Drinking to the point of drunkenness is portrayed as a way to handle unhappiness. There is also very strong language for a PG-13, including continuous use through one long scene of the word "bulls--t" in a card game. Most important, this is a movie in which the characters lie to each other and manipulate each other and make no effort to tell each other the truth, even after they have become very close.
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What's the story?
Hudson plays Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson), who writes the "how to" column for a popular young women's magazine. The adventure begins when Andie is assigned to pick up a guy and make every mistake women make to drive men away, to get him to dump her in ten days. Enter high-energy ad salesman Ben (Matthew McConaughey), who will win a huge new account if he can make a woman fall in love with him in ten days. Aware of Andie's assignment, his rivals pick her as the subject. Andie does her best, taking Ben to a chick flick festival and marking his apartment with her things. Even worse, she befriends his mother, crashes his poker night, gives part of his anatomy a counter-productive name, and makes him pay for couple's therapy. Yet it isn't just the bet that keeps Ben going. It's his sense that somewhere inside this crazy behavior is a girl he really wants to get close to.
Is it any good?
Hudson and McConaughey go for a Doris Day/Rock Hudson-style battle of the sexes in this romantic comedy, but their deceptive behavior irritates more than charms most of the time. The movie does have some clever jabs at the war between the sexes.
Andie's glee at torturing Ben is softened because what men see as being clingy and possessive, women see as affectionate and caring. We see this contrast in the way Andie and Ben treat (and are treated by) their friends. And we suspect that it is good for Ben to have to stick it out a little bit with a woman for a change. But we also see how truly right Andie and Ben are for each other and how crazy they are about each other right from the beginning.
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