On the $5.99 table at Hollywood Video and I couldn’t resist

Back to the Sixties by Betty Jo Tucker

As a confirmed movie addict, I've seen all those old Doris Day romantic comedies like Pillow Talk and loved every one of them. So why did I enjoy Down with Love, a 2003 parody of these flicks, so much? Could it be because Ewan McGregor out-charms any of Day's co-stars of the 1960s, including handsome hunks like Rock Hudson and James Garner? Or because Renee Zellweger dresses even better in this movie than Doris Day did in her films? A little of both, I think. But mostly, it's the sheer fun projected by everything in Down with Love — from its appealing actors to its period sets, elaborate costumes, witty dialogue and evocative background music.

The year is 1962. Small-town girl Barbara Novak (Zellweger) has written DOWN WITH LOVE, a self-help book explaining how women can be empowered if they forget about love. She advises casual sex and chocolate as substitutes. Journalist Catcher Block (McGregor), a cocky Hugh Hefner/James Bond sorta guy, avoids interviewing the feminist author until her book becomes a best seller. Fearing Novak's philosophy is a threat to his playboy lifestyle, Block decides to make the popular writer fall in love with him. How? By pretending to be Zip Martin, a shy astronaut who believes in celibacy until true love comes along. He will then write an article exposing Novak as a fraud…read the rest of the review here.

Middle-aged woman rating (out of five stars): ***1/2

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