Thursday, 10 March 2016

DOWN WITH LOVE (2003) was obviously Peyton Reed's 1960s prequel to UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT

​Did you like ANT-MAN? Did you find yourself liking it a lot more than the other hyped Marvel movies of last year?
I liked it a lot, not just as a movie but as a lesson in great man management.​

I was very pleased to find last week that Ant-Man's eventual director Peyton Reed, who was seemingly doomed to be the replacement for Edgar Wright, had previously directed one of my favourite movies, at which point I'm going to have to admit what that movie is..

C'mon Kimmy Schmidt fans does this remind you of anyone?
I love DOWN WITH LOVE and I don't care who knows it.

DOWN WITH LOVE is a mainly reviled homage/satire to Dorris Day comedy's of the 1960s - shot in hyper real over sugary manner format that made it on release look like a ​feature length FAMILY GUY takedown of MAD MEN.

Today this brash, incredibly silly and cartoonish like hyper reality really looks  like an obvious precursor to Netflix's acclaimed UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT.

I've avoided mention of UKS before now because I don't like stating the obvious and following general critical acclaim, but suffice to say Tina Fey's hilarious sitcom follow up to 30 Rock is one of only two modern comedies I've watched all the way through three times.

I'll say straight up DOWN WITH LOVE is nothing like as funny as UKS but like those old DD comedies (which I have a very distant memory of) it does have a lot of charm.

Efforts to recreate those comedies include;

Period authentic dodgy rear projection

Completely out of control outfits

Over the top sets with unconvincing backgrounds

Olympian stropping and fun with split screens

Your tolerance of this movie will probably depend on how you can handle the cast. I will watch anything with either Renée Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, Sarah Paulson in it. Sarah Paulson is only just getting her deserved level of attention as  Marcia Clark in People vs OJ Simpson, I think I noticed her first as the sinister Miss Isringhausen in Deadwood. She usually seems to be stuck in roles as icy official manipulators and it is great to rediscover her back in 2003 playing comedy with such grace.

Aside carrying the Star Wars prequels I'll always owe Ewen McGregor for LONG WAY ROUND, which literally changed my life. In this movie he seems to be trying to play a young Sean Connery but his own goofy smile kills any moment of supposed icy cool.

I cannot watch or even listen to Renee Zellweger without smiling, and then usually laughing. I've loved her since seeing her in another great criminally unappreciated movie, NURSE BETTY in 2000. There seems to be a lot of hate out there for Renee Zellweger  related to BRIGIT JONES (perhaps just in the UK?). I wouldn't know about that - the whole Bridget Jones phenomena seemed like such obvious bait for incredibly normal people I avoided the whole thing like the plague.

This movie has got Tony Randall in it and also features Jeri (Seven of Nine) Ryan as voracious British air hostess.


I've read somewhere that the sexual chemistry between the leads isn't considered too believable (unlike the gritty reality of the rest of this movie). To be honest, frankly, and this is a bit of an admission - I would never know. After decades of awkward interaction with the opposite sex I have to admit sexual chemistry is comprehensible to me as General Relativity sung backwards in Korean.

The horror is I can see exactly why this is considered an utter carbuncle on the arse of human civilisation and I still love it. In fact I actually relish the fact this movie flopped and is widely loathed (particularly by the kind of practical no-nonsense lady that has the imagination of a can of kidney beans) because if it wasn' t a loathed flop it would undoubtedly be a appalling West End musical right now​. Isn't widespread loathing that what used to define a Cult Film anyway?

In case you've just stumbled across this blog, which mainly gets hits these days for the review of Mandingo, I need to put the appreciation of this failed romantic comedy into context.

Accepted Classic Movies in the World In A Bottle
  •  JAWS
  •  ED WOOD​
  • MAD MAX 2
​ (new entry, blogpost soon)​


So you can see ​other than, arguably, ED WOOD, Tim Burton's epic of wierdo's and heroic war veteran cross dressing failures,  this movie a bit of an aberration.
Maybe it's because the unconvincing romance makes it kind of like an entire movie of the fake bird at the end of BLUE VELVET?
I don't know. I may be grasping at some ironic credibility there.

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