innocent_man: (drama)
[personal profile] innocent_man
Down with Love is an homage, if you will, to the sex comedies of the 60s. I have never seen any of these (Pillow Talk is apparently one of the best examples), so I was worried that I wouldn't "get" Down with Love.

As it was, though there was obviously some context I was missing, it was still really enjoyable. Renee Zellweger plays Barbara Novak, a woman from Maine in the 60s who has written a book called Down with Love, in which she encourages women to abstain from men (substituting chocolate for sex) until they separate the notions of "love" and "sex." And then, they should have sex like men do: "a la carte." (Sounds about right to me.)

Ewan MacGregor, meanwhile, plays Catcher Block, star expose reporter, who winds up deciding to force Novak to fall in love with him, thus exposing her as not really a "Down-with-Love" girl at all. He accomplishes this by putting on a country-fried, down-home persona and wooing her. Of course, he falls in love with her in the meanwhile, and then...

...well, things go a little off the rails (spoilers). She reveals that she knew who he was all along, and was playing him. But then he agrees to marry her, thinking that means she plays housewife, and she realizes that, no, she really is a "down with love" girl, and fucks off to go start her own magazine (which sucks up all the women in the city who want jobs, because they're sick of working for unappreciative chauvinists). Catcher finally figures out that he's fine with being the less-productive member of the marriage with his wife being a career woman, and pow. Happy endings abound.

David Hyde Pierce plays the role of Block's "boss" and neurotic best friend, while Sarah Paulson plays a similar role to Zellweger. Their chemistry and interactions provide really nice foils to the stars. Tony Randall, who was apparently the role that Pierce plays in this movie in the older Rock Hudson/Doris Day sex comedies, plays the head of the publishing house that agrees to publish Down with Love (though he doesn't care about the content until it stops him getting laid).

All in all, the movie is fun, well-acted and meta as all hell. I like it.

My grade: A-
Rewatch value: Dunno, but probably high.

Next up: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde


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