Comic-book movies? Dime a dozen. But a film based on a stick-figure book? Michele Alexander and Jeannie Long’s 1998 humor tome is now a live-action romance about a columnist (Kate Hudson) who meets an ad exec (Matthew McConaughey) and, in the name of research, proceeds to do ”every hideous, irritating, annoying, repulsive thing that a woman can do to drive a man away,” according to producer Lynda Obst. ”She calls his mother, she forces him to go to couples therapy, she brings a love fern to his house.” The role’s comic possibilities initially attracted Gwyneth Paltrow and director Mike Newell (”Notting Hill”). ”To get Mike to commit to a date was beyond my ability, so then Gwyneth took ‘View From the Top,”’ says Obst. ”Then we saw ‘Almost Famous.”’ Once cast, ”Famous” Oscar nominee Hudson prepped by spending a day with Vogue editor Anna Wintour. ”I tore out all of these how-tos in Cosmo and Glamour,” she says. ”Those are the kind of things that I skip over.” Obst almost skipped over McConaughey. ”[At first] we thought he was old for her,” she says. ”He’s 33, she’s 23.” The age difference never bothered Hudson, whose real-life hubby is Black Crowes’ singer Chris Robinson. Says the actress: ”I’m married to a 36-year-old, and it’s not like he’s ancient.” (Feb. 7)
Posted February 7 2003 — 12:00 AM EST
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