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  1. #1
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    Special Valentines Day Review (Down With Love)

    <img src="http://www.moviegoods.com/Assets/product_images/1010/171935.1010.A.jpg">

    Of all the things that we as adults are required to do, one of the worst is putting up with the holiday periods that take away time, efforts and extortionate amounts of money, for the reason that tradition should dictate to us when we are allowed to be nice to others. Admittedly Christmas is by far the most offensive in this regard, but that should in no way diminish the achievements of St. Valentine's day in taking a wonderful thing and steeping it in the hypocrisies and debts that tradition dictates we must develop.

    I mean seriously, what is love, how would you describe the feeling of love if you were to be asked by a child? Simply put, love is both wonderful and can suck. At it's worst times love is a cause of great pain and misery, it's the empty feeling of nausea that you feel whenever separated from the reciprocal of those feelings, and of cause the suicidal misery felt by the poor guy whose feelings can never be reciprocated (<i>That second part was observational, not personal</i>). Of course our society tends to forget that love can suck, and anyone or anything that dares to recall the pain and suffering caused by love must quickly change their line of thought before they find themselves being burned alive for heresy. Kind of like I am about to do now.

    You see when love works out it can also be a joyous thing, a rapid heartbeat and an excitable feeling whenever you are around the person for whom you feel so strongly. However even in this regard, what is love? Is it a light and fluffy feeling, where the entire world turns into love hearts and pink candy, where everyone giggles and sings, and dances and does everything else to make you sick, and slap the faces of lonely people everywhere. Maybe for the first few weeks, but no, love is mostly a serious thing. Feelings that instill themselves much deeper than the surface, forcing people to, yes fight, but stick together through thick and thin despite the difficulties. That is what true love is, and any love based purely on love hearts and candy floss is doomed to meet a shattering conclusion come the very first argument.

    Of course, while Valentines Day initially seems like a good idea there is one serious fault, the makers of Valentines Day have forgotten the importance of love, they forget that there is, you know, serious human emotions at the heart of it. All they see is commercialism, a deep rooted sense of if you throw enough hearts and candy at people then they'll soon pay an extortionate amount of money for the cheapest products imaginable, purely because if they don't try this then their <i>loved ones</i> will soon throw a tantrum that they're only getting the emotional support without any of the candy.

    The same thing could also be said of Director Peyton Reed's <b>Down With Love</b>, as it is certainly a film with a good idea. It tells of a woman named Barbara Novak who writes a book entitled <b>Down With Love</b> which speaks about how women are perfectly capable of making it through life without love. Of course as is often the case, the writers cop out from using this most excellent of ideas, as the reaction to this book draws the attention of reporter Catcher Block, who likes to use a woman's emotions for his own personal gain; and so sets about trying to discredit Barbara by making her fall in love with him. Needless to say they both come to the realization that they love each other, and cannot really get through life without love.

    To add further insult to the injury, their love is not a serious business at all, but rather, as it is with Valentines Day, it's a celebration of all things fluffy, of candy and hearts and singing and dancing, and let us not forget the mass vomiting from all ends of the audience. Mimicking the constant barrage of hearts, speaking of which would someone please explain to me why Google have filled my task bar with hearts, the writers have filled <b>Down With Love</b> with some of the most cloyingly sentimental dialogue ever. It's an homage to the old sex comedies of the 60's (<i>Though some of the jokes would never have gotten past the censors in the 60's</i>) and as such sees lines that no one would ever in their right minds agree to utter, and are forced to do it in some of the most overactive accents imaginable, constantly grinning ear to ear to show that for the films running time we definitely should be all happy and fluffy, even though they never provide us with any real reasons to feel that way.

    Then of course Reed continues down this path, mimicking the Valentines candy with his absolutely sickeningly sweet style. He films each scene almost drenched in pink, from the outfits, to the decor, heck even the cars are pink. Like the candy that you get on Valentines Day this style would be fine in small doses, maybe as an episode of a TV show, but at a feature length film is exactly the same as an entire box of chocolates, what started out as sweet, pleasant, endearing even, soon leaves you feeling completely nautious and desiring something with just a little more substance.

    That ultimately is the problem with <b>Down With Love</b>, the style is used excessively, and even as a comedy it has no substance. The jokes are all of the old school variety, the types that we've all seen before in other, occasionally better films. You want the traditional scene where lead male and female speak on the phone, the male toweling himself down after a shower while the female kneels down to find something, and you know when you play them side by side it kind of looks like she's performing certain oral favours for him, especially when you factor in a few double entendres in the dialogue that are subtle enough to be one of my jokes. That's the type of joke you can expect from <b>Down With Love</b>, jokes old enough to be tired and old hat, and while inoffensive, still blatant enough that they don't fit into the tone of a 50's comedy that it's supposed to be in emulation of.

    Of course the film is not completely evil. The actors, and/or characters do manage to do their part nicely. As Barbara Novak, Renée Zellweger (<b><a href="http://www.epinions.com/content_123435650692">Cold Mountain</a></b>) makes for a sweet and endearing character, having a blast with one of the few genuinely strong women of the 21st century cinema, but giving a slight bit of sensitivity to the later stages where the character begins to need companionship. Likewise Ewan McGregor (<b><a href="http://www.epinions.com/content_128313429636">Big Fish</a></b>) gives Catcher Block a fun, charismatic style that perfectly fits the style of the film. His overacted southern accent is matched only by his overacted American accent, erm North American accent, in terms of how perfectly over the top it actually is. Making Catcher a cool cat, a charismatic lead, despite being an arrogant, selfish womanizer. However David Hyde Pierce (<b>The Mating Habits Of The Earth Bound Female</b>) does best of all as he uses the experience he got playing Niles Crane in order to bring alive the nervous neuroses of Peter MacMannus, Catcher's editor who doesn't technically have much control over his employee. Along the way there are a few slightly less successful, but nevertheless endearing, turns from the ever lovely Jeri Ryan and Melissa George, as a couple of Catchers more bimboesque flings.

    You know what though, those characters could also symbolize Valentines Day, because trust me, you go down to the pub and meet the lonely people who like getting drunk on that day, I'm telling you now, you'll meet some characters indeed. As such <b>Down With Love</b> perfectly symbolizes Valentines Day, dumb, annoying and sickly sweet, without so much as a hint that emotion has more to do with love than a box of chocolates.

    2/5
    Last edited by carl; 02-14-2004 at 10:18 AM.

  2. #2
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    Good review that I aint seen the film..but to b honest..now i dont think il b watching it, unless it happens to come my way. And like u sed earlier it does seem like movie where everything seems to have been done b4...which doesnt really pull me towards da movie eitha...

  3. #3
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    Sounds like a review written by a cynic who's never been in love. No offence, carl.

    @aS!Dz: never believe 100% what a critic says. A review is only an indication of the writer's personal preference over a certain film. Just because a film gets a bad review doesn't necessarily mean that movie is crap. Only time will tell.

    With Down With Love, which I did see and like it, it's one of those movies you have to get into the spirit to like, or else it'll just bore you to tears.

    Just like Kill Bill.

    Just like 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    Again, no offence carl.
    Last edited by editman; 02-15-2004 at 05:52 PM.

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  4. #4
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    Originally posted by editman
    Sounds like a review written by a cynic who's never been in love. No offence, carl.

    @aS!Dz: never believe 100% what a critic says. A review is only an indication of the writer's personal preference over a certain film. Just because a film gets a bad review doesn't necessarily mean that movie is crap. Only time will tell.

    With Down With Love, which I did see and like it, it's one of those movies you have to get into the spirit to like, or else it'll just bore you to tears.

    Just like Kill Bill.

    Just like 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    Again, no offence carl.
    None taken, you should know I'm more easy going than that.

    Now your other 2 points. 1/No, I have been in love before, it was a depressing period whenever she wasn't around, but wonderful when she was. It's been over 5 years since I last saw her, but to date I still think of her every day and feel bad most days that she's no longer around. However I still stand by the statement that any commercialism is bad, Christmas, Easter, Halloween and Birthdays, the whole kaboodle (was considering a review of every holiday because I dislike them all ) but I find valentine's day to be among the worst because it cheapans the reality of love. Still, am I a cynic? Damn right!!!!! course, I thought I'd long since established my status as most cynical forum member.

    2/ Agree, erm, 90%, no 2 people will ever agree 100% of the time, which iswhy a good critic will base a review on analysis instead of feelings, something I always make sure to do, however feelings will always play a major part because otherwise reviews will be useless as all of them would agree, and so you can never be sure that you would agree with them if you haven't seen it.

    However I still hold that a review can be informative, so that if say Asidz decided that he doesn't like the sound of a sugary sweet OTT Romcom, with entendres so obvious that they only have one meaning, then I would urge him to listen to my review because he most likely wouldn't like it anyway. It's a judgement call based on how much info is presented, how often you agree with whichever critic, and how the info presented sounds like your type. ect... Which is why I kept back 10% , course I am very serious about my reviews, and the reviews of talented writers, so I give the topic waaay to much thought compared to most orther people.

  5. #5
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    I liked Down With Love. Quite funspirited and amusing.
    "A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism." / Carl Sagan

  6. #6
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    i also ejoyed it and thought it was quite clever.

  7. #7
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    i also liked it, but i also like the old doris day/rock hudson movies
    somebody told me you have a boyfriend who looks like a girldfriend that i had in february of last year the killers

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