Mixed or average reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 39
  2. Negative: 7 out of 39
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  1. A very smart, very shrewd movie, and the smartest, shrewdest thing about it is the way it masquerades as just a fluffy comedy, a diversion, a trifle.
  2. Sexy, sophisticated comedy that only occasionally falls short of its admirable ambition: that is, to be a fun, fizzy, razzle-dazzle thing. Straight to the moon, indeed.
  3. A postfeminist valentine to the Paleolithic days of Woman Power when dinosaurs walked Manhattan in heels with matching handbags.
  4. 83
    it's so much fun because, like Haynes' film, it's made by people with a genuine love for the entertainment they're bringing back to life. You'd have to be a real prude not to go for it.
  5. 80
    May register most immediately as a snappy whirl of visual gags, double entendres, overheated romance, and comically oversized living quarters, but beneath the exuberance of this fond counterfeit is a heartbeat as powerful as that of any film anchored in the present.
  6. 75
    No better or worse than the movies that inspired it, but that is a compliment, I think.
  7. Doesn't so much crackle as pop. It has enough double entendres to fill a D-cup, but it has a premise that would have burned a hole in the screen in 1962, when its story is set.
  8. Could have used more of the shimmering elegance of the Day-Hudson comedies. Those movies had a true sparkle. This one's a likable piece of costume jewelry.
  9. 75
    Light, funny, and clever.
  10. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    This is all far beyond silly, of course - the most inconsequential sort of winking, meta-movie in-joke.
  11. Reviewed by: Brad Slager
    Doesn’t so much immerse itself in the movies from that period as it submerges, and does so with pure adulation.
  12. Works hard to earn it and is, for the most part, intelligent and amusing, even if it never achieves the full-tilt zany desperation of Delbert Mann's "Lover Come Back," the best of the real Hudson-Day movies.
  13. A bit like having a detached retina. One keeps blinking and trying to get it into focus, but it never quite does. What, one wonders, is this movie doing here?
  14. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Dragging on too long is a more serious flaw in a romantic comedy than it might be in a complex drama. We don't ask much of a movie like this, but we do require it to be snappy, clever and quick.
  15. 63
    The problem lies with the paucity of sizzle between the romantic leads, Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor. They just don't look like they're having any fun together, particularly the bony Zellweger, who has trouble filling out the wow-worthy ensembles and perpetually looks like she's sucking on a lemon.
  16. 60
    Unfortunately, during the inevitable "what every woman wants" breakdown, Zellweger can't muster Doris Day's detached fume.
  17. It's like a "Saturday Night Live" sketch on a $60 million budget.
  18. 60
    Both of them (Zellweger and McGregor) are set adrift by the movie's discomforting demands, and only in the closing credits (this really is a top-and-tail movie) do they get to do what people do most fruitfully instead of sex, which is to make a song and dance about it. Who needs love? [26 May 2003, p. 102]
  19. Zellweger is a gifted comedienne and her wonky persona sparks here and there, but the humor is so broad that the film is a poor stage for her subtle comedic skills, and she's not photographed well: her face has to be lit just so or it tends to looks strangely distorted. McGregor is terrible casting.
  20. 50
    What starts as freshly spun cotton candy ends as something pink, sticky and indigestible. You leave the theater wanting to puke it up.
  21. 50
    The fatal flaw of Down With Love... is that in mining what's kitschily amusing about those movies, it also re-creates far too faithfully everything that's unbearable about them.
  22. An irritation, more fizzle than sizzle.
  23. Reviewed by: Howard Karren
    The period sets and costumes and the arch dialogue are exaggerated as if to underline the movie’s satirical intent—but in fact it has none.
  24. Director Peyton Reed gets the film's look and, in moments, its disingenuous innocence, but you have to wonder what he and the screenwriters, Eve Ahlert and Dennis Drake, thought they were parodying. The actors clearly haven't a clue.
  25. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Stars Zellweger and McGregor are too knowingly nudge-wink in their performances, too much contrived constructs to become real characters, let alone fuel the romantic comedy engine and make an audience care much whether they end up together.
  26. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    The new film is conflicted about its subject -- it both derides and adores what it means to parody -- and it's miscast at the top. Still, the Eve Ahlert -- Dennis Drake script has a gentle heart to humanize its sharp sitcom wit.
  27. 50
    The film is juvenile when it should be adult, coarse when it ought to be bubbly, and upfront when witty circumspection is indicated. The result feels a bit like a drag show, a camp blend of pitch-perfect mimicry and anachronistic raunch.
  28. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    The chief casualties are the good actors, who are forced to turn themselves into cartoons.
  29. 40
    You can't set the comedy bar much lower than spoofing the old Rock Hudson-Doris Day romances.
  30. Jeff Cronenweth did the lovely cinematography. It's the only element that improves on the original material.
  31. Hunter's movies never condescended to the audience; they never winked, never pretended to be a mere Playboy party joke. Which is precisely why Down With Love, which strives to be to "Pillow Talk" what "Far From Heaven" was to "All That Heaven Allows," is such a disaster: It winks so hard it lapses right into a coma.
  32. 38
    Explicitly invites us to mock its artificiality and giggly cluelessness, but beyond its attractive shell the film rings hollow. These days, even a comedy has got to have a heart.
  33. 38
    The film is hapless. The gap between the moviemakers' ambition and their wit is dizzying. It's as if they thought they were filming The Importance of Being Unimportant.
  34. 30
    This brittle little confection from director Peyton Reed (Bring It On) may drive you up the wall -- unless you're willing to settle for great frocks, stylish production design and wicked opening credits.
  35. The parodistic romantic comedy makes the fatal mistake of so much middlebrow satire: It becomes that which it mocks.
  36. A total lack of chemistry between the stars -- neither of whom is particularly good at romantic comedy in the first place -- and you have a promising package that grows steadily less lovable as it goes along. Down with this movie!
  37. The plot's as thin as a debutante's cigarette case.
  38. 10
    Down With Love has little to offer besides hip sixties references better films have already made and made infinitely more hip.

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