Synopsis by Mark Deming
Director Peyton Reed and screenwriters Eve Ahlert and Dennis Drake pay homage to the frothy romantic comedies of the early '60s -- in particular the Doris Day/Rock Hudson vehicles -- in this light-hearted and affectionate spoof. Barbara Novak (Renée Zellweger) is a sweet but savvy small-town librarian who has arrived in New York City with big plans to take on the town. Embracing a feminist philosophy years before it becomes common or fashionable, Novak writes a book called "Down With Love," in which she presents her theory that romantic relationships cause more problems than they solve for women, and urges women to focus instead on what will truly make them happy -- self-reliance, a solid career, and a healthy sex life (or chocolate if the latter is unavailable at the moment). Almost overnight, "Down With Love" becomes a minor scandal and a major bestseller, but not every man is America is happy with the new breed of liberated (and demanding) women spawned by the book's success, and Catcher Block (Ewan McGregor), a lady-killing bachelor who writes for Know Magazine, decides to put Novak to the test. Posing as a shy, retiring type, Block is determined to make Novak fall in love with him, and then share the details with the world through an article in Know. Block's editor Peter MacMannus (David Hyde-Pierce) thinks this is a splendid idea, but to Block's distress, he discovers himself developing real feelings for Novak. Down With Love also features Tony Randall, who significantly appeared in three films with Rock Hudson and Doris Day.
battle-of-the-sexes, chauvinist, journalism, publishing-house, sexual-revolution, feminism, love-vs-career