Up with Down With Love

It’s disappointing, but not surprising that Down With Love is doing such mediocre boxoffice.

I caught it at the Parkway last night, and, well, I’m hazarding a guess that the film is simply too weird for most moviegoers. The movie is pure confection from start to finish, taking its Manhattan 1962 setting and running with it delightfully. It’s beautiful and fun to look at. David Hyde Pierce gets to do some wonderful bits of business. Renee Zellweger is, naturally, cute-as-a-button. The story borders on meaningless, but that doesn’t matter — this is a comedy, and there are plenty of laughs and smiles. The film remains self-aware from start to finish, but never smugly so — you’re invited in on the fun, not made to feel condescended to.

Peyton Reed displays a remarkably confident directorial hand, and this is a worthy follow-up to his surprisingly good prior effort, Bring It On. Given his arch sensibility, I’m curious as to what he’ll make of The Fantastic Four.

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