Down With Love
Rated PG-13 for sexual humor and dialogue
My Rating: 4 Stars (I was debating a lower number but for reasons listed below, I give it the number I have.)
David Hyde Pierce
Let me begin by saying that I've never loved and hated a film so much. Only with Fiddler on the Roof have I been so completely swept away into a world that I found utterly fascinating, charming. And only with my least favorite films have I been this aghast at the principles taught (in an amusing, but very effective way) in this film.
In the 1960's, a gorgeous blonde by the name of Barbara Novak (Renee Zellweger) has just written a book for women called “Down With Love”, encouraging women to do just that. With three stages, Barbara Novak claimed that she could help all women overcome the need for love. The first stage? Refrain from sexual relations and affection for/from men altogether. When you feel the need for sex, eat some chocolate.
With a little luck, perseverance and a good friend for an editor, this book becomes a world wide phenomenon. In doing so, Miss Novak becomes very popular herself and is introduced on many T.V. shows, where she talks about her book and the women who have read it. In doing so, she brutally and purposely blackens the name of the man around town himself, Catcher Block... the most notorious ladies man ever (not excluding King Henry VIII).
Catcher Block is not only the most eligible bachelor ever, he's the star reporter for KNOW magazine, famous for his vicious exposes. [pro. X-spo-zayz... sorry, readers: I haven't discovered how to accent my words yet.] And now, incensed that a mere woman would dare try to ruin him, he determines to ruin Miss Barbara Novak. His plan? Make the “Down With Love” girl herself fall in love with him.
What I Liked:
1: The music, clothes, acting, directing, etc, etc, etc. was all gloriously 60's. As Renee said, “It's like eye-candy!”
2: How incredibly well acted this film was. Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor acted very well off each other, as did David Hyde Pierce and Sarah Paulson.
3: The story was so well done. There were no holes or loose strings. The twists kept me firmly in my seat and eyes glued to the screen.
4: The feeling I got when I finished the film, “I'm so glad I watched this film.”
5: The romance. I love the romance.
6: Ewan McGregor is now my 2nd favorite actor...
7: ...while Renee Zellweger is probably my favorite actress.
8: Every detail in this film was necessary. Nothing was over or underdone.
9: “I love you too much to have sex with you before I'm married to you.” 'Nough said. :-)
10: The humor. I don't think I've laughed so hard over a movie. This is film is funny. Capital letters and italics!
What I Didn't Like:
1: Did you ever wonder how much sex could be stuffed into one little story? I don't mean the actually act. I mean implications... movements... sensuality... apartment gagets (a couch that turns into a bed)... pronunciation of words (for crying out loud!)... (And yet, they somehow leave you feeling like you've just watched the cleanest love story in history. How do they do that?)
2: Some language.
3: Homosexual references.
4: The entire premise of the movie was against a woman's natural behavior, emotions, and place in the world. This premise is pushed throughout the film, jokingly and although partially disqualified with the conclusion of the movie, it is not completely disposed of. If the viewer is a woman with a rebellious spirit, the message of this film will only feed her dissatisfaction with her God given role. If the viewer is a man who doesn't view women with a protective, loving (biblical) spirit, he will feel the need to emotionally abuse the woman/women in his life to keep them submissive. Conclusion: this film can be dangerous to certain character types/attitudes.
Do I recommend this film? For educational (non-sexual, of course :-P) purposes, such as learning about quality filming and period movies. On the other hand, if you need a good laugh and you won't be bothered by the negatives I've listed, go for it. Not for kids or for young men who have problems with their thought life. My apologies for being blunt.