Reference to the pattern of events in the film charts the path to resolution. Andie is an aspiring serious journalist who has written her way to the "how-to" column of Composure, a premier woman's magazine that is an invented proxy for Cosmopolitan. When her colleague Michelle, a serial failure at maintaining romantic relationships, gets dumped, her boss comes up with the idea of a how-to piece on why women fail at romance. This is hands-on how-to: Andie's assignment is to select a new beau and within 10 days do everything women are not supposed to do to spark the flame, thus driving him away and giving negative-example advice to readers. Meanwhile, Ben is an aspiring ad executive who wants a famous diamond account but is competing, in-house, with a two-woman team. These two women have been pitching Composure and know about Andie's assignment. They manipulate him into a wager that he can get any girl to fall in love with him within 10 days, thus proving that he has the chops for an account of the kind that they think is more suited to women's management. They choose the girl for him--Andie--knowing she will sabotage the very relationship he is determined to build.
Coming as Andie and Ben do to their new relationship with mutually opposing agendas, the intentions that inform their behavior are continually frustrated, to great comic effect. Andie clings. She talks baby talk. She uses a c