Andie Anderson was supposed to be a 23-year-old with a master's degree and her own magazine column? Sure.

By Samantha Sutton
Jul 22, 2020 @ 4:57 pm
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How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is one of those movies I rewatch every few years, and each time I do, I find something new to spiral about. I’ve dreamed about being a ‘How To’ girl at a magazine, obsessed over Kate Hudson’s shorts, and thought the portrayal of Staten Island was kind of unrealistic (and I say this as a person who lived there for the majority of my life).

Now, however, I’ve discovered another thing that irks me about the film: the fact that Kate Hudson was only 23 when it was released in 2003, which means her character, Composure Magazine editor Andie Anderson, was likely also 23…while being pissed she hadn’t yet achieved her dream career.

At twenty! Freakin’! Three!

This small but life-changing fact was pointed out in a tweet by Dylan Hafer, who also noted that Andie had a Master’s Degree at that age as well (suspicious, but not impossible, I guess). After thinking about it, I now see this woman’s actions in a whole new light — including, but not limited to, her rant about not being able to write more serious articles in the very first scene, when she reads a piece she wrote about the people of Tajikistan.

As a fashion editor, I completely understand how reporting on lighter stuff, like shoe trends or hair color, may feel uninspired or repetitive at times, especially when there’s actual hard-hitting news to cover. But work, no matter what your job is, won’t always be rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes, it’s just … work. And, when you’re first starting out — at 23! — jobs are basically building blocks. Long, successful careers don’t typically happen overnight; Andie has to add to her resume and gain experience before she’s fully able to call the shots.

Now that Andie’s age has been revealed, the tricks she pulls on Ben (Matthew McConaughey), like imagining what their kids might look like, or bringing a dog to his office, seem extra silly. And, it was never lost on me that Andie spent over a week focusing on scheming and dating instead of sitting at her desk. Sure, she wasn’t writing about “religion, poverty, economics” or politics, but her boss had no problem with her stepping out for hours at a time, on top of recruiting her coworker — with deadlines of her own! — to play a therapist. I’m not sure what Andie’s salary was (let's reveal that next!), but as someone older and wiser, I can tell you: Andie, that's easy money. Until you find something you love, you can take the paycheck and go.

Paramount Pictures

Even the end of the movie — when Andie quits her job and leaves for an interview in Washington DC — suddenly makes more sense. Her turning down her boss' blessing to write whatever she wanted, as long as it fit within certain guidelines, used to seem empowering. Like, “Yes! Quit your terrible job after all these years of hard work with no reward!” But after getting all those degrees, how long could Andie have really been working at Composure? Did she write one major article and then expect special treatment? Her boss was giving her an opportunity that I, as a 23-year-old assistant, would have loved, and that reaction now seems bratty and entitled. Plus, isn’t it normal to leave your first job out of college for a better opportunity? Your 20s, especially your early 20s, are about taking risks, and Andie quitting in hopes of getting another job is an average example of doing just that.

To be fair, I do remember what it was like to be 23 and feel impatient about my career. I, too, struggled to find the perfect fit, and felt like I had to constantly prove myself  in order to receive any additional responsibility. But, that’s life. No one is going to just hand you what you want. On top of showing your talent, you have to push for it and continue to advocate for yourself, or eventually move on to something different. That’s a lesson that can be learned at any age, sometimes over and over again (I'm pretty sure I'm still learning it). I hope that after finding love — through trickery and dishonesty, but I digress — Andie realized that, too.