How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Dir. Donald Petrie. Paramount Pictures. 2003.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 days is a romantic comedy about a magazine writer, Andy, who is conducting a social experiment that involves her acting in very cliché forms of crazy to see what it takes to really drive a man away. However, Andy’s target, Ben, is an advertising executive that wants to take over a diamond account. To prove he understands women, Ben takes a bet that he can make a woman fall in love with him before the big pitch in ten days.  

After five days of dating, Andy surprises Ben with a dog. Conventionally a couple would get a dog or pet after a year or two of dating. Apart from moving in together, it’s typically considered one of the first acts of real commitment that leads to marriage. This typical act of commitment makes the dog the perfect pawn in Andy’s social experiment.

 Andy uses the dog to play with the idea of manly stereotypes. The dog wouldn’t be described as a man’s dog he is rather almost the exact opposite, he is a purse dog. Ben even comments, “It’s like a dog, right?” Getting an alpha male like Ben a small dog could, of course, hurt his ego but not as much as the dog’s name can. Earlier in the movie Ben jokingly named his genitals Crawl the warrior king. To really take a blow to his manhood Andy named the small scrawny dog Crawl. 

Crawl was also used to exploit female stereotypes in Andy’s experiment. For example, women who dress their dogs are considered high-strung especially if that dog is a purse dog. Andy takes this stereotype even further by buying a matching outfit for the three of them and calling them a family. With the help of Crawl, Andy presented herself as high-strung, controlling, and commitment crazed.

To really drive the point of the dog and Andy taking over Ben’s life, Crawl peed on Ben’s pool table. The pool table is a place for Ben and his workmates to huddle around. It’s their creative sanctuary at work. Just like Andy, Crawl was marking his territory and taking control of every aspect of Ben’s life. Like mother, like son.

Even though Crawl seems to strictly benefit Andy, he actually aids Ben in his journey. Ben is a big-time guy’s guy. Ben specializes in the advertisement of alcoholic beverages and athletic gear. His job is to think like the ultimate “bro”. However, Ben is trying to successfully pitch a diamond company. Andy’s over the top push of female stereotypes challenges Ben’s way of thinking which ultimately helps him win over the diamond account. Ben’s first breakthrough and big idea is because of Crawl. Andy compliments Crawl’s outfit with a sparkly diamond-looking collar. Ben and Andy’s conversation about the collar leads to Ben’s diamond campaign theme, “Frost yourself.” Crawl gives Ben the opportunity to understand how an over the top stereotypical woman, his potential client’s target audience, views accessories.

Andy buys Crawl to drive Ben away, but he really brings them closer by creating an overlap in the secret games Ben and Andy are playing. Ironically, Crawl does bring the couple closer by evening the playing field. The dog was supposed to be a pawn in Andy’s game but also benefited Ben in his ulterior motives. Crawl is where both schemes overlap and unbeknownst to the couple brings them closer. By the end of the scene, the audience can see Andy and Ben already physically closer with each other and the dog.