Owen Gleiberman
May 23, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Down With Love

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
102 minutes
Wide Release Date
05/16/03
performer
Ewan McGregor, Renee Zellweger, Rachel Dratch, Melissa George, Ivana Milicevic, Sarah Paulson, David Hyde Pierce, Tony Randall, Jeri Ryan
director
Peyton Reed
distributor
20th Century Fox Film Corporation
author
Eve Ahlert, Dennis Drake
genre
Comedy, Romance

We gave it a B

A playfully synthetic romantic romp that pays homage to the daffy, nudge-nudge sex comedies of the late ’50s and early ’60s (e.g., Pillow Talk). Renee Zellweger is Barbara Novak, who arrives in Manhattan to publish her sex-and-the-single-girl manifesto. Ewan McGregor, in a wonderfully charming performance, is Catcher Block, ladies’ man and star writer for Know magazine, who decides to allay his secret fear of the aggressive modern female by demonstrating that Barbara’s book is bunk, baby. The movie is little more than an engaging stunt, set in a mad (if not Mad) movie version of 1962, with a resonant glee poised somewhere between Far From Heaven and Airplane!

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