An homage to the early 1960s sex comedies that starred Rock Hudson and Doris Day. The story follows a best-selling female advice author who has all the answers until a sly journalist playboy starts asking the questions.Written by
Natalie Knowles <NatSplat007@hotmail.com>
The place: New York City. The time: Now, 1962. And there's no time or place like it. If you've got a dream, this is the place to make that dream come true. That's why the soaring population of hopeful dreamers has just reached eight million people. Oh! Make that eight million and one.
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PEYTON REED reads KNOW Magazine and drinks TANG, the drink of astronauts. See more »
An underrated gem - glowing pastiche with a post-feminist twist
I'm surprised to read so many user comments which indicate that Down With Love received some critical acclaim - I recall a very different response, where critics seemed hugely and almost unanimously underwhelmed (maybe this was a UK response?) and consequently, I wasn't expecting too much. This only enhanced my enjoyment - what an underrated gem this movie is!!
I rarely like Zellwegger, but here she was pertly perfect, and McGregor was simply fabulous - dashing, charismatic, loathsome, even vulnerable, especially when he occasionally slips from his duplicitous fake self (when he notices a lash on her cheek, for example), and always delivers his lines with exquisite (and surprising) comic timing. The support cast were also excellent, especially Hyde Pierce, although he was not a 100 miles from his decade-long stint as Niles Crane.
The set, costumes, production design and cinematography were also outstanding in this movie, evoking the brashly-coloured, kitsch, fluffy-light ambiance which pervades the early 1960s New York screwball romance movie genre, but the snippy script and slick direction removed this pastiche away from its potential as mere enchanting, screwball fable to a witty, post-feminist send-up of this Hudson/Day romcom genre - and indeed, the battle of the sexes. To its credit, Down With Love doesn't collapse completely into mawkish sentimentality with Novak (Zellwegger) suddenly capitulating into the cult of domesticity, tamed by her man, which is often the fate of modern post-feminist heroines - instead, the couple compromise, and we can be sure that she won't be confined to the suburban purgatory she comes to dread.
In all, a fun, fab and brilliantly executed movie, which has been clearly (re)created with due love for the genre it so skillfully parodies, yet in the light of postmodern sensibilities by adding a much-needed post-feminist twist.
72 of 104 people found this review helpful.
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