One of the joys of Netflix is that you get some nice surprises in
your queue. Steph and I are watching the credits roll on a fantastic
movie, Down with Love (Widescreen Edition),
starring Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor. This movie is an absolute
blast of a romantic comedy, cast in the mold of the classic ’60s Doris
Day/Rock Hudson movies.
Renée and Ewan do a bang-up job reminding us why they are top movie
stars. The story is set in the ’60s and concerns the clash of wills
(and hormones) between Barbara Novak, the author of the brand-new
international best-seller Down with Love, and Catcher Block,
the top journalist for KNOW magazine (and all around ladies’ man).
Barbara’s book has introduced atomic weapons to the war between the
sexes, for she advocates that women find equality in the workplace by
giving up on love — not sex. In short, be the equal of a man by
adopting the man’s attitudes about love and sex. Hijinks ensue.
The hair and wardrobes are, well, frightening, although Renée looks
lovely more often than anybody deserves when they’re wearing those
godawful ’60s styles. Ewan was born to play the suave and sexy Catcher
Block, “ladies’ man, man’s man, man about town”. There are some great supporting performances as well; David Hyde
Pierce (Niles Crane from TV’s Frasier) is Peter MacMannus, Catcher’s editor at KNOW. Jeri Ryan (7 of 9 from Star Trek: Voyager)
is onscreen as one of Catcher’s many female conquests. Tony Randall adds the perfect crowing touch.
Although I’m told that the movie wasn’t a huge success when it originally showed, it
is a brilliant and witty homage to a classic Hollywood era,
intelligently remade and updated for today’s world. The movie is fantastic, with a few musical numbers and a load of pop
culture references, but the documentaries and extras really add to the
experience. You cannot miss the blooper real, and you
have to watch the full version of the final music video with Renée and
Ewan — you can tell they are having the time of their lives. The
documentaries are short, sweet, yet fun and informative.
Down with Love is a wonderful celebration of some of the
best and zaniest tropes of Hollywood cinema. If you’re a fan of the old
Doris Day movies, you owe it to yourself to watch this flick.