Down With Love

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:41 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Down With Love
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, David Hyde Pierce, Sarah Paulson, Tony Randall, Peter Spruyt
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: 2003
Kiddie Movie: Little girls might like it, but there’s still some sex things that might be better for teens.
Date Movie: She’ll drag you along and still not like it.
Gratuitous Sex: There’s a remake of a famous talking on the phone scene from the “Pillow Talk” days, but this one is pretty dirty.
Gratuitous Violence: Nah.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Nah.
Memorable Scene: Nah.
Memorable Quote: Nah.
Directed By: Peyton Reed

Alright, I’m not one to know exactly what people think when they chose a film to be in, but you have to wonder if Ewan McGregor longed for his “Moulin Rouge” days and Renee Zellweger longed for her “Chicago” days, looking at “Down With Love” and saying “I get to sing again. Great! Oh, by the way, what’s the story about?” It’s not that “Down With Love” is a horrible film, and I can like a romantic comedy with the best of them, but after revealing the giant plot twist, and giving an ending that would have really showed the empowering of women, the movie went back to being a cookie-cutter romance and finished exactly how you would think it would.

Pretty much here’s how the story goes. Zellweger plays Barbara Novak. She’s just written a book telling women how to control their man. McGregor plays Catcher Block, a womanizing writer able to woo women at a single look. Novak is set to have an interview with Block, but Block keeps blowing her off opting for romantic rendezvous with a variety of women. As such, Novak finds out why Catcher keeps missing their appointments and vows not to speak with him. Catcher’s problem, and that of most of the male population, is that Barbara’s book, titled ‘Down With Love’, is becoming a big hit and women are now starting to withhold sex from their men.

Catcher now knows that the only way to recharge his sex life is to prove the book a fraud, that women can’t live without love, and the only way to do this is to get Barbara to fall in love. Since Barbara has never actually met Catcher, he decides to give himself the name “Zip Martin,” pose as an astronaut, and woo Barbara, and woo he does. Wining and dining, theatre and ballgames, Catcher is doing his best to get Barbara to fall in love with Zip. Yea, yea, yea, in the meantime Catcher is really falling in love with Barbara. Will Barbara find out Catcher’s plan before he can expose her? Will Catcher give up his plan to write the expose because he loves Barbara? Will there be some convoluted plot twist that could have led to a great ending? Will the filmmakers not end the movie at that great ending point and instead keep the movie going with Catcher groveling for Barbara to forgive him? It is for the last question that I just gave up on the movie and dropped it a star.

They say “Down With Love” is supposed to bring back the sex comedies that were present in the 60’s, specifically the movie “Pillow Talk.” The people making the movie seemed to have forgotten to do the math. Let’s see, “Pillow Talk” came out around 1960. Let’s say that most of the people who saw the movie were older than 20. Well, that makes most of the people who could relate to the movie over 60. I’m just guessing that for the most part your typical romantic comedy audience is a female (dragging her boyfriend kicking and screaming), between the ages of 20 to 45. How many of them have seen the movie “Pillow Talk”, let alone know it exists? So, I’m thinking a marketing plan of “Bringing back the sex comedies of the 60’s” really doesn’t relate. What does relate is a good romantic comedy, specifically the comedy part. That’s what gets one dudette to go see it, have her tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and all of a sudden you’ve got a hit. There just doesn’t seem to be a reason for anyone to tell two friends to see this movie.

The story fell short, sure McGregor and Zellweger looked the role of the 60’s movie star, but other than some people who haven’t remodeled their kitchens in forty years, who wants to see a romantic comedy set in the 60’s? The bright spot in this movie was the neurotic Peter (David Hyde Pierce), who seemed to be the only comic relief in a movie that really didn’t have potential for any else. Oh well.

Had the movie ended where I thought it should have, I would have stretched and given “Down With Love” 2 ½ stars, but with the cookie-cutter ending I’m knocking this one down to 1 ½ stars out of 5. It just falls short on too many levels.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!