Down with Love

Tony Randall's droll comic turns in late '50s/early '60s romantic comedies such as Let's Make Love and Pillow Talk were often an acid test. His sharp tongue gave welcome edge to the fluffy sex wars. Now in his 80s, he has a cameo in this self-conscious and zestless period makeover as the unattractive, bullying boss of a swish NYC publishing house, and there's something about the uninflected coarsening of his role that characterises the movie as a whole. Zellweger plays ambitious boondocks author Barbara Novak, whose 'sensation' on what gals of the post-Pill generation really want propels her into the twirling headlines. McGregor is tuxedo'd Casanova and celeb journalist Catcher Block who, for a dastardly scoop, disguises himself into her affections in a titillating game of emotional double bluff. If Todd Haynes' incisive melodrama Far from Heaven proved that imitation can be the sincerest form of flattery, this, for all its meticulous period reconstruction, saturated 'Scope camerwork, split screens, gauzed diamante close-ups and musical inserts, suggests that mere mechanical copying can produce a pretty unconvincing forgery.

Release details

Duration: 101 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Peyton Reed
Screenwriter: Eve Ahlert, Dennis Drake
Cast: Renée Zellweger
Ewan McGregor
David Hyde Pierce
Sarah Paulson
Tony Randall
Rachel Dratch
Jack Plotnick
John Aylward
Warren Munson
Matt Ross
Michael Ensign
Timothy Omundson
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