Down With Love (2003)
January 25, 2015 2:37 PM - Subscribe

A throwback to 60s sex comedies from the director of Bring It On and starring Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor.
posted by RobotHero (21 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Of course this came up because Peyton Reed is also directing the upcoming Ant-Man movie and jason_steakums described Down With Love as one of the most underrated movies ever made.

During my most recent rewatching of the movie, it occurred to me if this was more popular among the Tumblr crowd it would be a rich vein of reaction .gifs. So many shots of people having cartoonish reactions. I think I've seen the .gif of Ewan McGregor ripping his shirt open, but there's so many more.

This is also the first time I noticed a blink-and-you-miss-it gag where David Hyde Pierce waves a vermouth bottle in the air while preparing martinis.
posted by RobotHero at 2:51 PM on January 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

Damn. Doesn't seem to be streaming anywhere.

I saw this when it came out (more because I saw a lot of movies back then than out of any love of performers or even subject matter), and I was absolutely blown away by it while simultaneously knowing that it would make a few bucks and vanish into the ether and every now and then I'd be reminded of it.
posted by Etrigan at 3:17 PM on January 25, 2015

I loved this movie! But then, I completely forgot about it until this post.

Now I need to watch it again... see if it lived up to my memory of it.
posted by meese at 3:44 PM on January 25, 2015

Saw this in when it came out, and was perplexed. It seemed to be a film from a established genera with clear conventions and well defined parameters *than I had never known about*. The film lives in it's own world, a retro romantic comedy historically imagined early 50's.
posted by sammyo at 3:54 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Usually indulgent pastiche movies like this fall really flat if they miss the mark by even a tiny bit, but they just nailed it here, stretched it as far as they could and didn't break it and it came out great. I know movies like this aren't for everyone - people are mostly hot or cold on The Hudsucker Proxy too, though as much as I love that movie I think this one pulls off its tricks even better - but this is definitely one of my favorites, and I really need to watch it again since it's been a few years. It's just such a playful movie, it feels deceptively weightless and effortless even though it surely took a ton of care and everyone involved really being on their A-game to get it right.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:10 PM on January 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

I love love loved this movie, and after this plus Bring It On, I really thought Peyton Reed was going to have a rich career directing loving homage to various genre flicks. I thought both flicks showed his great understanding of movies, and genre conventions - he nails the tone soooooo well.

Instead, he's directed a large number of shitty, forgettable films since. Le Sigh. "Man's man, ladies' man, man-about-town". Great movie. So funny.
posted by smoke at 5:02 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

I remember coming across this on DVD and loving it and wondering why I hadn't heard about it earlier. I think I need to watch it again. It's just completely charming.
posted by PussKillian at 6:09 PM on January 25, 2015

It's really fun to watch "Down With Love" alongside the movies that it draws from, "Pillow Talk" and "Lover Come Back" especially. "Down With Love" manages to pay perfect homage to those movies while having a few tricks of its own as well. David Hyde Pierce is just about the most perfect heir to the Tony Randall persona that you could ever hope for.
posted by wabbittwax at 6:12 PM on January 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

wondering why I hadn't heard about it earlier

It opened (wide) against
The Matrix Reloaded
, is probably part of why.
posted by Etrigan at 6:53 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

"the darndest thing"
posted by infinitewindow at 8:54 PM on January 25, 2015

wabbittwax: "David Hyde Pierce is just about the most perfect heir to the Tony Randall persona that you could ever hope for."

I love the scene where he's introduced.

"You're fired!"
"No, I'm not."

I did think for a little while how I could fit "ladies' man, man's man, man about town" into the plot summary but it became too cumbersome.
posted by RobotHero at 9:13 PM on January 25, 2015

This movie is a treasure.
posted by davidmsc at 10:22 PM on January 25, 2015

Better than I thought it was going to be considering that this is the sort of thing that would normally make me gag.

Y'all might find this podcast about the movie interesting to listen to.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:30 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

I think the thing that works about this movie, like Galaxy Quest, is that it is only a TINY bit of a parody... mostly it is just a straight retro genre film with just a bit of a wink.
posted by selfnoise at 7:44 AM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]

I really thought that Zellweger sucked the life out of this movie. Everyone else in the cast was comedy gold, but Zellweger had about zero sense of comic timing. Plus, everyone else was fully immersed in their roles, while she just looked like she was playing dress-up.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 10:47 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

I may have to re-examine this based on y'alls comments; at the time it completely fell flat for me.
posted by phearlez at 10:55 AM on January 26, 2015

I didn't really like this movie until the twist ending was so over the top that I had to laugh.
posted by Monochrome at 1:32 PM on January 26, 2015

Spotted a copy of this in a local charity shop recently - I might fork out the quid and watch it this weekend.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 3:51 PM on January 26, 2015

I could see how it isn't for everyone. It's artificial. There are some jokes (the chocolate stuff, the conversation about socks) where it's hard to tell if I'm supposed to laugh at the joke or at the movie for making this joke.
posted by RobotHero at 4:19 PM on January 26, 2015

I have really fond memories of choosing this movie on a whim for a date with my high school boyfriend. We had no idea what to expect, and we both loved it. (Okay, it was part whim, part David Hyde Pierce is amazing and I want him to be in all the things. More movies starring Ewan McGregor and David Hyde Pierce!)
posted by ilana at 8:30 PM on January 26, 2015

Marvel, I will go see Ant-Man every single day for a month if you let Peyton Reed direct a 1960s throwback Avengers movie in the style of Down With Love afterwards.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:41 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

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