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Overall Rating
3.8

Awesome40%
Worth A Look: 24%
Average: 16%
Pretty Bad: 16%
Total Crap: 4%

8 reviews, 52 user ratings


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Down with Love
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Stephen Groenewegen

"Zip without zing"
3 stars

Ladies’ man, man’s man, man about town Catcher Block (Ewan McGregor) is a chauvinist men’s magazine columnist in 1962 New York. He’s personally affronted by the phenomenal success of “Down With Love”, a self-help guide by Barbara Novak (Renée Zellweger). Novak argues that women should adopt the ways of men if they want to be taken seriously in business. In other words, discard love in favour of a la carte sex.

Penned by Eve Ahlert and Dennis Drake, Down With Love is a parody of the late 1950s, early 1960s Doris Day-Rock Hudson comedies like Pillow Talk and Lover Come Back that invariably co-starred Tony Randall (he turns up in a cameo here). It also shamelessly “borrows” story ideas, like Block pretending to be a country hick to woo Novak. Hudson adopted a Texan accent to fool Day in Pillow Talk, a ploy that recalled Hudson’s hit role as a Texan patriarch in the epic Giant, three years prior.

Under the direction of Peyton Reed (Bring it On), Down With Love has zip but not zing. McGregor’s a marvellously charismatic and versatile actor, but he can’t help but make Block a lot nicer than Hudson’s chauvinists ever were. He also lacks the physical presence required for such a hunky role, and plays Catcher more like a James Bond wannabe. Zellweger, like the film itself, is too self-consciously cute and coyly charming.

The extravagantly loud retro sets (Andrew Laws, Martin Whist and Don Diers) and costumes (Daniel Orlandi) are the real stars. But I wouldn’t have had the characters prance about in them as if on a catwalk. We don’t need to be constantly reminded that Down With Love is a parody.

Although there’s witty dialogue and an enjoyable zany denouement, Down With Love would have been easier to like if the characters stopped winking at us. It would also have helped if the filmmakers could refrain - just for a moment - from congratulating themselves on their own cleverness.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=7652&reviewer=104
originally posted: 08/19/03 13:54:08
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Tribeca Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Tribeca Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

2/20/11 Ark Fun! Brilliant colors, plus that monologue of hers at the end ROCKS! 4 stars
7/12/09 the dork knight Hope you like sex-related puns. Only DHP saves it. 3 stars
10/01/07 Mable Cowpie A nice parody of the era - entertaining 4 stars
12/16/06 Ika Brilliant! The Actors, the plot, the movie! Awesome! 5 stars
10/27/06 Rio Was great up until they decided that love was good. 3 stars
6/11/05 Lucy Catcher Block Rocks my Socks! 5 stars
5/28/05 Lacey Very well done, flawless casting, great twist at the end. 5 stars
4/30/05 Alyson I say the best romantic comedy since Grease! 5 stars
9/23/04 Temenouzhka Zaharieva - ID and journalist According to the quality os set design my rating is 5 5 stars
9/15/04 random* fantastic send-up- um, fellow commenters, you missed the joke 5 stars
7/08/04 Denise Duspiva Pathetic all that to get a guy 2 stars
6/04/04 Elizabeth Jewell Everything this woman accomplished was for love of this jerk? Say it ain't so. 2 stars
5/30/04 The More You Know The pepto bismol film formula always makes me nauseous. 1 stars
5/07/04 Amy Wardle It was funny in a way that it was so lame you had to laugh. 2 stars
4/17/04 Michael Greenwaldt A smart, fun, stylish, and underrated film! 4 stars
2/16/04 Jim Michaels Satirizes the 60's uptight, yet zany style without succumbing to derision or delusion. 5 stars
1/25/04 Ryan Think that is was just awesome! Perfect casting... 5 stars
10/08/03 Sarah Attention dumb people, this movie is a remake of Pillow Talk (1959) 4 stars
10/06/03 Ali Ali Oxygen Free Renee Zellweger&Ewan McGregor ain't no Doris Day&Rock Hudson! No way! Nohow! 2 stars
10/05/03 Stephanie Throckmorton Wanders into all territory, none that it doesn't see fit to overkill. 2 stars
10/03/03 Troy Butler 4.5 stars, ... a great fun movie!!! If only more romantic comedies were made this well!!! 5 stars
9/22/03 Ray Loved it! Up with Down With Love! Doris and Rock would have got a chuckle out of it too! 5 stars
9/02/03 chloe I LOVED it and didn't expect to at all, now I'm hunting out the old Doris Day films 5 stars
8/20/03 murphy daniels snif snif sooo bewdiful 5 stars
8/17/03 Nicole Absolutely fantastic 5 stars
8/15/03 Paul Dempsey When a Hollywpod star promotes film in Oz you know it's a dud. 2 stars
8/13/03 Nancy295 Fun but not the real thing. Ewan and Renee should work together again. 4 stars
7/25/03 Kelly Attention dumb people:Ewan & Renee are NOT SUPPOSED to be playing Rock & Doris! 5 stars
7/20/03 Verbal Me Excellent movie, refreshing and hilarious! 5 stars
7/12/03 ali ali oxygen free Renee Zellweger&Ewan McGregor ain't no Doris Day&Rock Hudson! No way! Nohow! 2 stars
7/11/03 Stephanie Throckmorton Wanders into all territory, none that it doesn't see fit to overkill. 2 stars
7/09/03 natasha_theobald witty, well-acted, briskly paced, good when it's naughty fun 5 stars
6/29/03 Titus As a romatic comedy, this is absolutely tops. Great script 5 stars
6/11/03 Brannie Herez Brannie, This movie looks sooo bad that i wont even bother to pay for movie tickets. 1 stars
6/03/03 E. Allen This was a fantastic movie! It kept me smiling long after I left the theater! 5 stars
5/31/03 San Alexandra Great mavie! I loved the whole back in the 60's thing even though i'm only 14. 5 stars
5/29/03 Emily I love Ewan, this was a great movie! 5 stars
5/28/03 Dalian et rae Read the book -- this works more in literary format 3 stars
5/27/03 wintermute A pretty package with nothing inside 2 stars
5/24/03 Full Throtle Ahead Really funny movie! Everything about it was great! 5 stars
5/24/03 Nancy Niedzielski call me a hopelessly Down-with-Love girl, but this was a waste of 94 minutes of my life 2 stars
5/22/03 peter nnnnnnnnnn 1 stars
5/22/03 Todd something you could sit through 3 stars
5/22/03 Jai I never thought this movie would be as good as it was! 5 stars
5/21/03 Emmy Really great and funny! 5 stars
5/21/03 Kim (not Novak) Excellent--a silly movie for smart people. Perfect from start to finish. 5 stars
5/20/03 Dick BAD 1 stars
5/20/03 Rover Brilliant!! Funny! DHP is awesome! 5 stars
5/19/03 Michelle B Loved it. Ewan and Renee are hilarious. 5 stars
5/19/03 v.e.r. rz &emc were both terrific in playing their roles also the film was very amusung. 4 stars
5/19/03 holli I'll never again be satisfied with predictable, lifeless, modern day romantic comedies! 5 stars
5/18/03 George Jung Holy Fuck...best fucking movie of the fucking year so fucking far. Fucking amazing. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  16-May-2003 (PG-13)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  14-Aug-2003




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