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"DOWN WITH LOVE"
(2003) (Renee Zellweger, Ewan McGregor) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate None *Moderate None None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None None *Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Mild None Mild Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Romantic Comedy: A 1960s era reporter tries to get an author to fall in love with him to prove that she and her best-selling book about liberating women from love are frauds.
PLOT:
It's 1962 New York and Barbara Novak (RENEE ZELLWEGER) is an author who's just written a female empowerment book by the name of "Down With Love." In it, she proclaims that women shouldn't confuse sex with love and should treat the former like a plaything, much like men do. Despite the efforts of her editor, Vikki Hiller (SARAH PAULSON), and the publishing power of head boss Theodore Banner (TONY RANDALL), however, the book barely gets noticed.

That is, until it's mentioned on the Ed Sullivan show. It's soon flying off the shelves, resulting in wives and other women suddenly refusing to act the way the men in their lives expect them to. That doesn't sit well with swinging playboy and ace reporter Catcher Block (EWAN McGREGOR). Ever the ladies man, he believes that all women want is love and marriage and thus sets out to prove Barbara to be a fraud.

Yet, since he's already stood her up several times, he takes on the personality of Zip Martin, a genial NASA astronaut who'd never dream of taking advantage of a woman and has never heard of Barbara or her book. Since she's become public enemy number one to most every man in the country, she instantly falls under his spell.

As his boss, Peter MacMannus (DAVID HYDE PIERCE), goes along with the ruse and finds himself drawn to Vikki, Catcher does what he must to make Barbara fall head over heels in love with him, all while trying to be careful that he doesn't fall for her.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of anyone in the cast or romantic comedies of today or old, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For sexual humor and dialogue.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • RENEE ZELLWEGER plays a 1960s era author who's written a controversial book telling women not to confuse sex and love and to treat the former just like men do. As a result, she can't get a date, but must then deal with falling for Catcher's alter-ego.
  • EWAN McGREGOR plays a 1960s reporter and swinger who's determined to prove Barbara's a fraud by getting her to fall in love with him. He does so by adopting an alter-ego and lying to her about who he is. He drinks and apparently has sex with various women.
  • DAVID HYDE PIERCE plays his boss who's uncomfortable around women, but finds himself drawn to Vikki. He also drinks.
  • SARAH PAULSON plays Barbara's editor who smokes and finds herself drawn to Peter.
  • TONY RANDALL plays Vikki's steely and old-fashioned boss who's happy with the business repercussions of Barbara's book, but not the personal ones.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this romantic comedy that's been rated PG-13. All sorts of mostly non-explicit, sexually related comments and innuendo are heard in various scenes throughout the movie. Some of that pertains to women and the notion of casual sex for them, while other bits include humor and/or comments about male genitals, implied intercourse, etc.

    One split screen moment (where a man in one half and the woman in the other are brought together but aren't in the same location) has visual innuendo for various bits of sexual activity (including several forms of intercourse and oral sex). A few scantily clad women (including one whose hair covers her bare breasts) and some cleavage are also seen.

    Various characters drink and/or smoke, some bad attitudes (in light comedy form) are present, and a woman punches one man and slaps another. If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Peter has a drink.
  • Catcher has a drink.
  • Some people have drinks.
  • A person apparently passes out.
  • Some people have champagne, including Vikki, Barbara and Banner.
  • Barbara offers to buy Catcher/Zip a drink, but he says he wants some Tang.
  • Zip and Barbara have champagne, while Peter makes drinks.
  • Catcher has a drink.
  • Catcher pours Barbara wine with dinner.
  • A person appears drunk at a bar.
  • A comment is made that people at a beatnik party are "in orbit." Later, Zip/Catcher fools Barbara into believing a woman drugged him.
  • Peter and Catcher have drinks.
  • A person has champagne.
  • Peter and Catcher have drinks.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • All of the following is played for light comedy.
  • An executive of some sort treats Vikki likes his 1960s style secretary (as do others), wanting her to get him some coffee.
  • Various men don't like the notion or aftermath of Barbara's work as it puts the "wrong ideas" in women's heads (that's what the men think and complain about).
  • Catcher stands up Barbara in various meetings.
  • Catcher says that all women want is love and marriage (the story is set in the 1960s).
  • Catcher lies to Barbara about who and what he is (all to try to prove her wrong and ruin her). Peter also helps with that ruse and keeps it from Barbara and Vikki.
  • We hear that Banner has a mistress.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Put it where the sun does not shine," "Chick" and "Broad" (woman) and "Bastards."
  • Barbara wears a '60s style top that shows her bare midriff.
  • Some kids might want to imitate all of the sexual innuendo and humor.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • There's none of the "usual" variety, but there are at least 2 slang innuendo terms for sex ("laid" and "does it") and 1 slang term for breasts ("rockets") present in the film.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Some sexual innuendo has as a person commenting that someone's wagging a woman's tail, and an apparently gay man saying he's not (or something like that).
  • A comment is made about love and sex, with a man stating they're the same for women.
  • A comment is made about "making love," something about a self-pleasuring technique and equating the pleasures of sex and chocolate (so that women won't associate sex with love).
  • More sex-related comments are made regarding women and Barbara's ideas that they'll have sex whenever they want and enjoy it like a man does (adding "ala carte").
  • Some women show cleavage (one shows a lot as she bends over and Catcher tells her to be careful that she not fall out - of her top and the helicopter she's in).
  • We see Catcher in just a towel.
  • A woman overhears Catcher and Peter talking about Catcher's elastic socks and takes their comments --about getting a yardstick, staying up all day long, them being sixteen inches long, and having two of them -- out of context (she thinks they're talking about his genitals).
  • A stewardess kisses Catcher, there's innuendo about time for a matinee, and he has his hand on her clothed butt as they walk off.
  • Later, Catcher calls Peter with more innuendo that something has sprung up regarding a woman (he uses code by stating it's a dog he's with). A comment is made about a bottom and we see the woman nuzzling Catcher's neck before they kiss.
  • A classic statue shows bare breasts.
  • Catcher comments that he got waylaid, was up all night and is still in bed. Barbara then sarcastically replies that he does "get way laid."
  • As Peter mentions something about "bosom buddies," we see shots of some women in bikini-style tops that show cleavage (and the word "rockets" is used as slang for breasts).
  • A husband gets into bed with his wife (apparently wanting sex), but she's reading Barbara's book and has a different idea.
  • Vikki states that Barbara's book is bigger than the Pill.
  • More comments are made about Barbara and sex, and not having the latter ala carte.
  • Barbara says she wants to know Catcher (posing as Zip) better. When he asks how much, she says "all of the way" better.
  • Double entendres are made about how a man like you "does it" (something else, but sexual innuendo).
  • As Zip/Catcher and Barbara talk on the phone, we see a split-screen shot of them where various forms of innuendo are said, all while the combination of their body positions and actions in their separate scenes (that are seen together in that split-screen mode) are laced with sexual humor, etc. During this, she bends down on her side of the picture, but ends up at his crotch level on his side as he adjust his towel (a visual oral sex joke). We then see the two of them in the 69 position (again in separate but composite shots), with some humor coming from him doing sit-ups, and then see him doing push-ups on top of her as she lies below him (in that split screen where their bodies never touch, but the visual joke is there). He then asks if she'd like to come to some event (another double entendre) and she enthusiastically and repeatedly replies, "Yes." Another visual joke makes it look like rear entry sex due to the positioning of their bodies (as she bends over and he's behind her). After they hang up, both smoke (like in old movies where that always occurred after sex).
  • Peter accidentally knocks Vikki down and lands on her.
  • More innuendo occurs with comments about whether a hand is in the right spot. The woman replies almost, but that never before with such a powerful instrument.
  • Zip/Catcher and Barbara agree that it's time to go to bed, but he plays innocent and says he'll call her a taxi to take her home. They then briefly passionately kiss before she leaves.
  • After some more sexual talk (including about making love), Catcher goes off with another woman (who's not wearing a shirt but has her hair over her apparently bare breasts) at a party to have sex in a bedroom. Nothing happens, however, as Barbara walks in on them (on a bed).
  • In reference to an above entry, Zip/Catcher says that he wants to know Barbara "all the way" better. Comments are then made about make love and meaningless sex.
  • Some more innuendo is made.
  • Barbara gets out of a bathtub with a towel around her and we then see the shape of her body behind a partially see-through divider. We then see her in some '60s style lingerie (and she briefly dances around in it).
  • We see Catcher in his boxers.
  • Acting like he doesn't know what the switches in his swinging bachelor pad do, Zip/Catcher pushes one and a bed comes out and he and Barbara end up lying on it (clothed) and laughing. She asks if he's in the mood, he says yes and they then passionately kiss (with him partially crawling on top of her, but both are still clothed). He's doing this to set her up, keeps kissing her and on her neck (causing some heavy breathing), and a comment is made about sex. They're interrupted by a stewardess who lets herself in (and wanted to fool around with Catcher). She leaves, stating she'll call up one of the pilots for that.
  • Barbara makes a comment about being a notch on Catcher's bedpost, as well as ones about sex on the first date vs. after several dates.
  • More non-explicit sexual comments are made (about sex and marriage, and Vikki comments on her mother's attitude toward sex - used in reference to something nonsexual, etc.).
  • More innuendo occurs between Catcher and Barbara regarding employment "positions" such as being on top, starting at the bottom, working one's way to the top, and working "under" a woman.
  • SMOKING
  • Vikki smokes several times (including a lot in one scene set in an elevator), Catcher and Barbara each smoke once (with him also holding an unlit pipe in his mouth in another scene), while several miscellaneous characters also smoke (1 has a pipe).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • How opinions about love and sex are different between men and women and how they've changed since the 1960s.
  • Vikki states that Barbara's book is bigger than the Pill.
  • Vikki mistakenly believes that Peter is gay and in love with Catcher.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Played for laughs, Catcher throws Peter into a cab.
  • There's some brief boxing match violence.
  • A woman punches Catcher and then slaps Peter.



  • Reviewed May 13, 2003 / Posted May 16, 2003

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