In 1962 New York City, love blossoms between a playboy journalist and a feminist advice author.In 1962 New York City, love blossoms between a playboy journalist and a feminist advice author.In 1962 New York City, love blossoms between a playboy journalist and a feminist advice author.
Fortunately, the script, by Eve Ahlert and Dennis Drake, is wickedly funny, full of the politically incorrect double entendres that were as close as Hollywood could get to actual 'naughtiness', 30 years ago (and, yes, there are more than a few present that WOULD have been censored, even then). The story, of a woman who writes a best-selling 'self-help' book eschewing the necessity of men for any more than 'casual sex', and the 'Hugh Hefner'-like writer who turns his prodigious charms to work, in the guise of a naive astronaut, to win her love, and thus discredit her theories, would have fit Doris Day and Rock Hudson to a 'T'. While Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor lack their role models' charisma, they have a pleasant chemistry together, and the 'split-screen' phone call scenes between the pair are even racier than the Day/Hudson 60s versions.
If the leads seem a bit bland, the supporting cast more than makes up for any shortcomings. In a role that SHOULD garner a 'Supporting Actor' Oscar nomination, David Hyde Pierce takes on the part assumed by Tony Randall or Gig Young in those 60s farces, that of the put-upon, neurotic, sometimes prissy friend of the hero. He is superb, even SOUNDING like Tony Randall, and steals every scene he's in. His 'opposite number', friend of the heroine Sarah Paulson, while not quite at Pierce's level, is still quite funny as a chain-smoking career woman who would chuck it all for the right man. And, in a FABULOUS piece of casting, the MAN himself, Tony Randall, appears as the book publisher whose bestseller is RUINING his love life. At 83, the man can still toss off a funny line...
With a very inventive 'twist-within-a-twist' climax, and Marc Shaiman's evocative score punctuating the proceedings, DOWN WITH LOVE is a delight!
- Oct 1, 2003