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May 9, 2003

Down with Love is a 2003 romantic comedy film directed by Peyton Reed. It stars Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor, and is a pastiche of the early 1960s American "no-sex sex comedies" such as Pillow Talk and Lover Come Back (which both starred Rock Hudson, Doris Day, and Tony Randall) and the "myriad spawn" of derivative films that followed. Time film critic Richard Corliss, estimating conservatively, wrote that Down with Love "is so clogged with specific references to a half-dozen Rock-and-Doris-type comedies that it serves as definitive distillation of the genre."

Randall himself plays a small role in Down with Love, "bestowing his sly, patriarchal blessing" on the film that also stars David Hyde Pierce (in the neurotic best friend role often played by Randall or Gig Young), Sarah Paulson, Rachel Dratch, Jeri Ryan, and Jack Plotnick, who spoofs the kind of role Chet Stratton played in Lover Come Back.

Typical of the genre the film tells the story of a woman who advocates female independence in combat with a lothario, the plot reflects the attitudes and behaviour of the early pre-sexual revolution 1960s but has an anachronistic conclusion driven by more modern, post-feminist ideas and attitudes.

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