Down with Love Movie Poster Image

Down with Love



Hilarious spoof on '60s comedies for mature 14+.
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 110 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Equality of women a comic theme of the movie.

Not applicable

Constant sexual references and situations including apparent sexual encounters.


Brief strong language, many double entendres.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking and smoking as emblems of sophistication.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has a good deal of sexual innuendo and double entendres, including an extended split-screen sequence that makes it appear that the characters are engaging in a number of sexual acts. There is brief strong language. Characters drink and smoke as evidence of sophistication. Equality of women is a humorous theme of the movie. As in the 1960s movies it salutes, all characters are white.

Kids say

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What's the story?

In DOWN WITH LOVE, Barbara Novak (Renee Zellwegger) is the author of a book called Down with Love, that tells women to be strong and independent, to find fulfillment in work and to use men for sex but not become emotionally attached. Magazine writer and man-about-town Catcher Block (Ewan McGregor) decides to expose her as a hypcrite by making her fall in love with him. He pretends to be a shy astronaut who does not want to have sex unless he is in love. But Barbara -- and Cupid -- have a few surprises in store for him.

Is it any good?


Down With Love can't make up its mind whether it is a salute to the Doris Day-Rock Hudson/James Garner/Cary Grant movies of the 1960s or a parody of them. Perhaps surprisingly, it works better as a salute, and never quite reaches the heights of the movies that inspired it. The movie begins by saying that "the time is now -- 1962" and the period details are, well, swell, including flip hairdos, Tang, martinis, the twist, Camelot and clothes and furniture that are the kickiest! Catch is wearing a dinner jacket when he returns from a luau with the astronauts at Cocoa Beach.

When Barbara's book becomes a worldwide sensation, she receives the ultimate badge of fame -- an Alfred E. Newman parody on the cover of Mad magazine. But the best of the movie's in-jokes is Tony Randall, who often played Hudson's best friend, a neurotic rich guy who hopelessly envied Hudson's confidence and success with the ladies in the original series of movies. In Down With Love, that role is exquisitely played by David Hyde Pierce, but Randall appears as the head of the publishing firm, demonstrating his impeccable timing and delivery. Indeed, the supporting players, sets, and costumes are so vivid that they make the main characters seem a little bland.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether a similar plot could work in a movie set in current times.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 16, 2003
DVD/Streaming release date:October 7, 2003
Cast:David Hyde Pierce, Ewan McGregor, Renee Zellweger
Director:Peyton Reed
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Run time:110 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sexual humor and dialogue

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Adult Written bypeattie April 9, 2008

One scene ruins it for the kids

The split-screen phone scene which could have been a wonderful send up of such scenes from movies of the Doris Day era seemed as though it had been handled by the Farrelly (sp?) Brothers. I was planning on taking my daughter to see the movie until that scene came on. Fabulous movie, dumb scene.
Teen, 17 years old Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008

One of the best movies I've seen this year

This movie at first seems like one of those movies that have the same plot every time. But after the few first minutes it really pulls you in and you can't stop laughing! I didn't really like Renee Zellweger in Chicago but in this movie she was most excellent and funny . Her character Barbara is a young woman from Maine that writes a book about how women don't need love, instead, they can eat chocolate. Her world changes when she meets Catcher Block.You think that you know what is going to happen but then it takes a twisted turn ( all for the better of course!). Down with Love is a perfect replica of all the 60's romantic comedies, and it has all the clothes and gadgets too.
Adult Written byperlepress April 9, 2008

a wonderful diversion

Enter Review Here This is a bit sophisticated for young people. The twists and turns in the pivotal scene will take explaning to those under 15 but this still had plenty of humor and charm to entertain even a twelve year old.


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