Down With Love

Down With Love

4.0 16
Director: Peyton Reed

Cast: Peyton Reed, Renée Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, Sarah Paulson

     
 

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Director Peyton Reed and screenwriters Eve Ahlert and Dennis Drake pay homage to the frothy romantic comedies of the early '60s -- in particular the Doris Day/Rock Hudson vehicles -- in this light-hearted and affectionate spoof. Barbara Novak (Renée Zellweger) is a sweet but savvy small-town librarian who has arrived in New York City with big plans to take on the town… See more details below

Overview

Director Peyton Reed and screenwriters Eve Ahlert and Dennis Drake pay homage to the frothy romantic comedies of the early '60s -- in particular the Doris Day/Rock Hudson vehicles -- in this light-hearted and affectionate spoof. Barbara Novak (Renée Zellweger) is a sweet but savvy small-town librarian who has arrived in New York City with big plans to take on the town. Embracing a feminist philosophy years before it becomes common or fashionable, Novak writes a book called "Down With Love," in which she presents her theory that romantic relationships cause more problems than they solve for women, and urges women to focus instead on what will truly make them happy -- self-reliance, a solid career, and a healthy sex life (or chocolate if the latter is unavailable at the moment). Almost overnight, "Down With Love" becomes a minor scandal and a major bestseller, but not every man is America is happy with the new breed of liberated (and demanding) women spawned by the book's success, and Catcher Block (Ewan McGregor), a lady-killing bachelor who writes for Know Magazine, decides to put Novak to the test. Posing as a shy, retiring type, Block is determined to make Novak fall in love with him, and then share the details with the world through an article in Know. Block's editor Peter MacMannus (David Hyde-Pierce) thinks this is a splendid idea, but to Block's distress, he discovers himself developing real feelings for Novak. Down With Love also features Tony Randall, who significantly appeared in three films with Rock Hudson and Doris Day.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Peyton Reed's Down With Love walks a very fine line. By creating what is simultaneously a satirical look at and a sincere love-letter to the no-sex comedies of Doris Day and Rock Hudson, Reed has fashioned a confection of a movie that will either alienate viewers or fill them with giddy delight. For the film to work on any level, the performers have to find and maintain the perfect tone. Luckily the players are more than up to the task. Ewan McGregor has the ability to preen without irony and still manage to communicate the humor in his character's vanity. Rarely has an actor gotten more laughs with just his body and boxer shorts. Renée Zellweger proves once again that she is a first-rate actress by expressing her character's proto-feminist thinking, while still being able to want for all the things she is supposedly against. She also delivers one of the most difficult but hilarious monologues ever written, and pulls it off in great style. David Hyde Pierce and Sarah Paulson provide flawless support throughout, with Hyde Pierce getting huge laughs with some very subtle throwaway material. Those unfamiliar with Pillow Talk and Lover Come Back may have a difficult time accepting the look, pace, and tone of the film, but those who appreciate style for the sake of style as well as unabashedly romantic comedies will find much to enjoy in Down With Love.
San Francisco Chronicle - Mick LaSalle
A very smart, very shrewd movie, and the smartest, shrewdest thing about it is the way it masquerades as just a fluffy comedy, a diversion, a trifle.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/27/2004
UPC:
0024543106722
Original Release:
2003
Rating:
PG13
Source:
20th Century Fox

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Renée Zellweger Barbara Novak
Ewan McGregor Catcher Block
Sarah Paulson Vikki Hiller
David Hyde Pierce Peter MacManus
Rachel Dratch Actor
Jack Plotnick Maurice
Tony Randall Theodore Banner
Jeri Ryan Actor
John Aylward EG
Melissa George Elkie
Will Jordan Ed Sullivan
Ivana Milicevic Actor
John Storey Henri
Dorie Barton Sally

Technical Credits
Peyton Reed Director
Eve Ahlert Screenwriter
Todd Michael Amateau Asst. Director
Larry Bock Editor
Bruce Cohen Producer
Jeff Cronenweth Cinematographer
Paddy Cullen Executive Producer
Don Diers Set Decoration/Design
Chris Douridas Musical Direction/Supervision
Dennis Drake Screenwriter
Dan Jinks Producer
Andrew Laws Production Designer
Francine Maisler Casting
Arnon Milchan Executive Producer
Daniel Orlandi Costumes/Costume Designer
John Pritchett Sound/Sound Designer
Marc Shaiman Score Composer
Laura Z. Wasserman Musical Direction/Supervision
Martin Whist Art Director

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