MOVIE REVIEW: Down
Get Down with Ewan & Renee
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, David Hyde Pierce, Sarah Paulson
Directed by: Peyton Reed
By Lori Mastronardi
If you want to be visually stimulated and entertained check out Peyton
Reed's Down with Love, a new romantic comedy with a twist.
The film opens with colour and vigor as Barbara Novak (Renée Zellweger)
arrives in bustling New York City and distinguishes herself by wearing
alarmingly pink clothing among a sea of brown suits. She's eager to promote
her new book, "Down with Love," which reveals how women should
not succumb to men. More specifically Novak suggests the female gender
must stray from the familiar ideals of love and marriage and grasp onto
the shocking new attitudes of casual sex and equality in the workplace.
Love, after all, is simply a distraction.
Catcher Block (Ewan McGregor), womanizer and star journalist of KNOW magazine,
is characterized as "the ladies' man, man's man, man about town."
Once Block refuses to provide his promised cover story on Novak's book,
she proceeds to publicly disclose his naughty reputation on The Ed
Sullivan Show, thus sparking a battle between the two headstrong
Down with Love attracts the audience through ritzy 1960s decor,
incessant wardrobe changes and by playing on chocolate's high aphrodisiac
quality; so much so it assumes a complete replacement for sex. Sexual
innuendoes incessantly pervades the film ˆ la Austin Powers, in an obvious
effort to reflect the romantic comedies of Doris Day and Rock Hudson.
The soundtrack is lively and representative of the time period, peaking
with Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon" and the film's closing
music video, "Here's to Love," performed by McGregor and Zellweger.
Despite the film's allure, it tends to lose its charm once Novak begins
to stray from the female independence she preaches. The story-line tends
to falter in overly convoluted revelations and bizarre plot twists.
Though Down is presumably characterized as a "chick flick,"
those with views of rigid gender distinctions and labels should watch
this film to obtain a necessary, different perspective. Down with
Love's comedic aspect provides a light, worthwhile view of the transformation
from the repressed to the independent woman.