Old 05-15-2003, 03:27 AM
Reviews: Down With Love

JoBlo's 6/10 review of DOWN WITH LOVE can be found here: http://www.joblo.com/downwithlove.htm

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Old 05-16-2003, 07:59 PM
Down with Love Review

Rated PG-13

Starring: Renee Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, Sarah Paulson, David Hyde Pierce, Jeri Ryan, Tony Randall, Rachel Dratch

Directed by Peyton Reed

I knew that Down with Love was either going to charm or bore the socks off me. The film takes a calculated risk by continuing the retro-trend, seen notably this past year with movies like Far from Heaven and (to a certain extent) Catch Me if You Can. Delightfully campy opening credits give way to an arial shot of New York including a cheesy voice over that is straight out of 1962, and so is the story. We're hooked in those opening moments, drawn back into another time. The question is, do we stay hooked?

In Down with Love Ewan McGregor and Renee Zellweger play Catcher Block and Barbara Novak. He is a sexist playboy, typical of the type, who writes for KNOW magazine, the best selling men's rag-about-town. She is a feminist writer whose book, Down with Love, is about to become number 1 on the Best Seller's list. What's more it will begin a revolution. Women, she touts, should give up love for her three step program:

1. abstain from sex
2. begin substituting chocolate for sex, as it releases the same endorphins into the body and will curb the urge to indulge
3. focus on career until you are no longer tempted to fall in love, at which time you are free to have as much emotionless sex as you want

Not exactly The Feminine Mystique, but you get the idea.

Simultaneous plots, a la Rock Hudson and Doris Day, erupt: Block is going to de-bunk Novack by getting her to fall in love; Novack is going to get an exclusive with Block to put her book on the cover of his magazine. Silly back-stories involving the foils (Peter and Vikki, played by David Hyde Pierce and Sarah Paulson) provide lots of opportunities for more near-miss and role swapping hijinx, the stuff 60s comedies were made of.

The fashion, set design, and sound track provide a spot-on perfect mood. Zellweger, McGregor, Hyde Pierce, and Paulson never slip out of character or period. The movie does, however, have its small issues. I found the pace a tiny bit too slow, and would have liked more of the staccato dialogue I remember so fondly from those wonderful Day/Hudson bits of fluff. The movie draws heavily upon both Pillow Talk (1959), and Lover Come Back (1962). I loved the neon-sign montages, the cheesily done moon, the dramatic unveiling of chic clothing. I could have really hunkered down for some serious joy had there been a little more fast-paced verbal exchange action. What little I got left me wanting much more.

I did like Down with Love. It never once slipped into the wrong time frame, took itself so seriously that it forgot to be silly, or sold out. The slightly-riskier innuendo was delivered with a wink and a grin. The plot twist threatened to lose me, but reeled me right back in. Split screen bits, an obvious homage to Pillow Talk and other films of the period, got a little gamier and naughtier, and may have gone a few baby steps too far.

But ultimately, Down with Love delivers a charming tribute to its source material. Yes, we do, indeed, stay hooked. The movie drags a bit in the middle (again, I think more fast-paced dialogue may have helped) and pushes the innuendo envelope a tad far in one or two spots, but for the most part it is an endearing success. A nice date movie, this will appeal to a broad audience. Recommended... UP with Down with Love!
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Old 05-18-2003, 10:04 PM

Down with Love

What do you get when you combine the two stars of two of the most popular movies of the last 3 years, mix it in with David Hyde Pierce, then to top it off, a throw back to those lovable Rock Hudson and Dorris Day Movies? The wonderful, Down with Love, folks.

When I first saw the trailer to this wonderful film, I was hooked. It was just the type of film I was looking for. I love McGregor, Renee, and Pierce. Plus, it had a fun, sexy, smart, look it it. I was going in with high hopes. And boy, I wasn't let down.

Down with Love is that sexy, smart, fun film I wanted to see. It combined with fluffiness, and a sweet, sexy feel. A real crowd pleaser if you ask me. I myself, couldn't get my eyes pf the screen. The three leads were superb, the writing is sharp (gotta love Pierece and his hilarious one-liners), and it had great music and sets.

I was reading in the theatre magazine and there was a review with Renee. She said, " You'll be sad once the movie's over, you won't want it to end." Well, she was right. I had such a great time, I wanted more. That musical number at the end just did it for me. A wonderful end, to a wonderful movie.

Overall, a great movie. I had a swingin' good time that I didn't want to end. Down with Love was excellent.


This may change, though.
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Old 05-19-2003, 12:25 AM
Since I'm a wee bit tired, I'll list the good and bad points of the movie...prepare for an unbalanced list

The Good:

Renee Zellweger's spot-on performance. The exaggerated pouty lips, the hip swaying, arm-bent walk that made her seem like a mix of Marilyn, Doris and Elizabeth Montgomery.

Ewan McGregor's performance. Yet another classy, perfect blend of all the stars of the day, yet his was slightly more personal than Zellwegers. He threw in a few McGregor-isms that truly made him shine.

The combination of David Hyde Pierce and Sara Paulson. Both very talented comedians in themselves, the combination of them was utterly irresistably cute. Both have style, and while Hyde Pierce nearly matched McGregor's charisma, Paulson almost topped Zellwegers with her slight lisp, alluring smile and fun characterization of the typical side-kick.

The script. Purposely cheesy, a wonderfully sarcastic yet very light look at the 60s flicks that nearly everyone recognizes. Even with the unorthodox twist, the script remained upbeat, witty and pleasant throughout. The little references also made everything perfect...turning it from a mere spoof and adding the air of a homage as well. The continuing jokes also did well by me, "Catcher Block? Ladies Man? Mans man? Man about town?"

The style. The over-sized hats, the exaggerations of characters, the music, and the general larger-than-life feel of it just made all of the other wonderful components come together perfectly. And, one really must love the splitscreen phone "sex" scene...hilarious.

The Bad

Some of the jokes fell flat, not so much as to make you grimace, but did not generate any more than an appreciative flicker of the eyes.

The story lost course for a bit, and put itself in danger of being too out-of-the-ordinary to really work. Fortunately it pulled itself back on track, but the final 20 minutes didn't quite work as well as it tried to...nice to see McGregor back at that typewriter, though

While it was merely very clever fluff, it did not try to be anything deeper, so, for me, Down with Love was a huge success, and one I'll be watching many times over.


Last edited by Annie Hall; 05-26-2003 at 02:50 AM..
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Old 05-26-2003, 12:19 AM
Down with Love

This movie from the start looked good to me for one reason: Ewan McGregor. I really enjoy when this man takes the stage. Whether he is using the force or falling love he always captures my attention. Ewan pulls it off again in his performace as "Catcher Block." The way the moves with his little playboy strut and his cocky smile just made me smile throughout the movie.

Aside from my love with McGregor I found his co-star somewhat lacking. As far as Renee Zellwegger (sp?) goes I don't really enjoy her as an actor. She always seems so out of place. I do have to admit that she had some funny scenes in this movie but her one major downfall was the scene I like to call "The Confession." In the words of Beaver Clarendon, "Jesus Christ Bananas" did this last forever!!!! I have one word to the director of this movie... SHOT VARIETY. Come on! This scene had to last over five minutes and the shot NEVER MOVED!!! It was just a flat shot of Renee while she explained all of her little plan to convince Catcher to fall in love with her. Not only that but this scene was WAY over-complicated.

This movie was great up untill Renee's confession scene. After that it just went way downhill. It seemed to me like this movie was trying to seperate itself from all of those other cheesy stereo-typical romance comedies out there. It failed.

One more thing. I have to give some props out to David Hyde Pierce, his performance was HYSTERICAL! He was the source of ninety percent of the laughs for me. I really love this guy on frasier and while his character is a tad type cast I still love it!

Overall this is an enjoyable romance comedy with lots and lots of sexual innuendo, a powerful performance by Ewan and David, and then throw in some more innuendo.

I give it a (6/10)

Hi Megan, your beautiful!

Last edited by jolanar; 05-26-2003 at 12:49 AM..
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