Sunday, January 31, 2016

Film Notes: Down With Love

Down With Love (2003), a romantic comedy about a battle of the sexes between a swinging early 60s hedonist (Ewen McGregor) and a late 60s free love feminist (Renée Zellweger) set in the Manhattan of the early 1960s Down With Love is director Peyton Reed's attempt to recapture the mise-en-scene--which it does decently enough of the Doris Day and Rock Hudson films of the late 1950s and 1960s but with a difference. But while Down With Love wants us to believe that it is a slyly knowing light put down of the Doris and Rock romantic comedies of the past, the film ends up being, to quote cultural critic Jean Baudrillard, a simulation. Down With Love is a simulation with a difference, however. The film is a more obvious and, as a reviewer in the Time Out Guide nicely put it, a coarser version of the Doris and Rock romantic comedies which preceded it and which it purports to be parodying. First time entertaining romantic light comedy. Second time over the top dismal failure. Give it a miss.

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