Quick, think of all those movies from the ’60s. The fun ones. The ones with energy that just kept going. Fast dialogue. Bold colors. Doris Day. Frankie and Annette. Tony Randall. Outdoor locations filmed indoors (and you could easily tell). Now think of the television shows of that time. Ed Sullivan and variety shows. “What’s my secret”-type game shows.
Now smoosh them all together in one movie that, on the surface, talks about feminism, gender equality, one-upmanship, and love. Throw in a couple musical numbers. That’s the formula for Down with Love.
The best thing about this movie was the look. They nailed the “hyper-reality” of the ’60s as seen through a Hollywood lens. The split screens for phone conversations, the hats and hair, the overly large rooms, the fake outdoors, the variety show music, the overacting. Everything was perfect. They even had Tony Randall himself.
Aside from some brilliantly written lines, however, the script didn’t do much for me. They concentrated so much on catching the authentic ’60s feel that when they tried to fit in some 21st century it seemed out of place. The split screen with the exercising was a great idea for a visual as a way to make fun of both the topic of conversation and the filming/editing methods, but comes off way too vulgar for the movie. I’d like to say it took me out of the story, but I was never really in the story to begin with. I really just spent most of the movie enjoying the nostalgia it created.
If you were a big fan of the ’60s comedies, you’d probably get a kick out of this movie. If you’re looking for something to fill 90 minutes, you could do worse. If you’re looking for a movie that’ll give you a couple chuckles, go for it. If you’re looking for a good movie… look elsewhere.
Best line, though, was delivered (in a whiny voice) by David Hyde Pierce:
Where’s my Geisha? I need my shoes.
[tags]sixties, David Hyde Pierce, Ewan McGregor, Renee Zellweger[/tags]