Down with Love (2003)
USA – comedy, romance – 101 min
Written by Eve Ahlert and Dennis Drake
Directed by Peyton Reed
Women vs. men. Men vs. women. This war lasts quite a few years. Or centuries. Or millennia. ‘Women are so…’ in the eyes and mouths of men, while ‘Men are just too… and not enough…’ according to women. The movie makers take on this seemingly risky, but oh so entertaining and engaging subject. Also, quite widely used.
The female army in the movie is lead by Barbara Novak (Rene Zellweger – flawless), an author of the best-selling advice book Down with love, in which she calls for women to be strong, career-oriented and independent, not those falling for the opposite sex with their hearts open wide and fully devoting themselves to men. (Yes, Barbara has had her heart broken.)
On the other side of the conflict here we’ve got a playboy journalist Catcher Block (Ewan McGregor who fit just right in the role). No, not a typo – they really named the character like that! Note the hidden meaning! Needless to say, they fight, irritate each other but are they really down with love? We sure Know (inside joke for those who have seen the film) that Block’s friend is not and he desperately tries to get something going with Novak’s friend and no. 2 in the female army.
Down with Love is a funny reflection on the whole thing of the war of the sexes. It tries to find a suitable, harmonic agreement between the two ‘enemies’ at least a few times. However, it seems as if the film makers have run out of ideas and finally leave the matter unsolved. Or, have they…?
The movie is above all the ideological features a nod to the 60’s and a parody of its ridiculous style and characteristic way of film-making. It’s so pleasant to watch it just to spot all the details, starting with iconic room decoration, clothes and hairdos, ending with the studied poses of the actors and the ludicrous behaviour of the characters. Well done!
If you miss the 60’s, want to watch something light, amusing but also thought-provoking – there’s no better choice than this piece of cinematography. Prepare for plot twists!
My rate: 8/10
P.S. Are you down with love?