Grade: B+ (high +2 on the Leeper Scale)
Down With Love. We recorded it quite a few months ago on a whim, and finding ourselves in-between DVD series last night, decided to give it the benefit of the doubt ... well, for 10 minutes or so. But how wrong could we be? While it's certainly no work of genius, it was considerably better than we'd expected. Extremely stylishly shot, it lies somewhere in-between a pastiche, a parody and a homage of the 1960s rom-coms of Doris Day and Rock Hudson that play with the rising status of women in society. Renée Zellweger plays a proto-feminist writer whose book, the eponymous Down With Love, aims to elevate the status of women by revealing their subservience to love and marriage, while Ewan McGregor plays a rakish journalist who sets out to seduce her and undermine her book's ethos. As noted above, the film both mocks and celebrates its sources, and it's not absolutely clear to what end (post-feminism?), but it's done pretty infectiously with some wry double entendre and great repartee between the leads. And it's more than ably supported by the likes of David Hyde Pierce (in full Niles-mode). So, I guess the lesson is: don't judge a book from its cover.
Grade: B- (high +1 on the Leeper Scale)