Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Down with Love

Sometimes it's easy to forget how great a movie is. My hubby and children bought me "Down with Love," both the movie and the soundtrack, a few years ago. I watched the movie a couple of times when I got it, but haven't since. It sat on a shelf gathering dust until last night. Over the weekend, while channel surfing, I caught part of the movie on cable and it reminded me how delightful and bedazzling it was. It's styled after the movies of the 1960s, all bright colors, snappy battle-of-the-sexes dialogue, montage time-passing scene, cartoon opening, split-screen double entendres, and overdone poses to show off the stunning outfits worn by the ladies. The music fits the era, too, with performances of standards by Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Michael Buble. (I know, Michael is not OF the era, but he performs several standards from the era on the soundtrack.)

"Down with Love" stars Renee Zellweger as Barbara Novak, an author who has written a book called "Down with Love" that teaches women how not to fall in love with men. Ewan McGregor is her male nemesis. He plays Catcher Block, posing as Zip Martin, in order to trick Novak into falling in love with him. David Hyde Pierce plays Peter MacMannus, Catcher's humorously neurotic boss. He is in love with Barbara's editor and friend, Vikki Hiller, played by Sarah Paulson. Vikki is a chain-smoking live-wire who packs a mean punch.

The movie clips along and makes me laugh and clap with delight. There's only one scene where the movie's creators should have said "Cut!" half-way through -- a monologue by Barbara Novak. When you see it, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. When her monologue ends and the camera cuts to Catcher Block, he looks practically comatose. Other than this one minor flaw, "Down with Love" is worth watching over and over.

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