I always want this to be a better movie than it is. A loving tribute to the Doris Day/Rock Hudson films of the 50s but with the latitude of a modern film. Down with Love *should* work, yet it doesn’t quite. Nonetheless, it’s a fun frothy little romp and for once, Renée Zellweger doesn’t annoy too much as her squinty cherubi doll-like face fits the hyper hip fashions and the bouncy feel of it. Ewan MacGregor plays the Lothario part note perfect and with great glee. Sarah Paulson does great as Vikki Hiller, the would be tough editor who can’t quite stand up to the old men and really just wants to get married, and of course, the always delightful David Hyde Pierce shows why he should be inundated with roles in the Tony Randall vein. So funny! And yes, terrific to have Randall show up in a cameo, too.
The costumes, the sets — all perfect. Peyton Reed’s direction for the most part maintains that light touch needed for the story, but the script churns to a halt when switching gears. Like a lot of nostalgia production these days, it tries to have it both ways: reveling in the old times and the hilarity of women’s lives sucking (-_-) but also ‘updating’ for a modern audience. And it’s the latter part that doesn’t quite work. In the end the script is not clever enough to overcome that challenge. It’s a difficult thing to do, but I can’t help wishing they’d worked harder to do so.
But it has ample charms and it would make a great double feature with Pillow Talk, so give it a whirl. And then drop by Todd’s to see other recommendations.