“Down With Love:” A Tribute to Doris Day Comedies of the ’60s

Doris Day movies are among some of my favorites. They’re like comfort food–easy to watch over and over again, and they always feel good. “Pillow Talk,” especially, is a lot of fun, as she spars with Rock Hudson from beginning to end. So when “Down With Love” came out in 2003 as a tribute to those 1960s comedies, I ran straight to the theater to see it.

The sets and costumes were like eye candy. And there was a fun cameo with Tony Randall, who always played Rock’s funny friend. The movie itself, well, let’s just say it proved that Doris Day and Rock Hudson are irreplaceable. But Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor were game enough and tried their hardest to recreate the look and feel of the classic romantic comedies.

Zellweger plays Barbara Novak, the best-selling author of a book called Down With Love, recommending that women give up romance and try chocolate, careers, and casual affairs to fill their lives instead. Playboy journalist Catcher Block (McGregor) decides to do an expose on her by–what else–making her fall in love with him. But all isn’t as it appears, of course! Who is tricking whom here?

Director Peyton Reed says: “It’s not the New York City of today and it’s not even the New York City of the early ’60s. It’s basically the New York City as seen through a Hollywood movie of that period.”

The film’s title comes from the song “Down with Love” as sung by Judy Garland, who is seen singing it on The Ed Sullivan Show in one scene.

NOTE: Sorry, but most of the photos in this post were lost during a blog migration.

An Affair to Remember movie poster
Remember the classic 1957 Cary Grant-Deborah Kerr movie An Affair to Remember? I knew it was a tear-jerker, but I had forgotten how funny it…
Nearly 50 years ago, Pillow Talk won the Academy Award for Original Screenplay and was received several nominations, including Best Actress in a Leading Role…

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  1. says

    I love Doris Day…that voice! And James Garner….what a hunk! I love those old movies. I really enjoy seeing all of those crisply starched shirts in McGregor’s closet. And as for the split~screen…cinematography genius! Great post.

    Happy Monday,

    Ramona’s last blog post..I Am In My Happy Place ~ Finally

  2. says

    I remember Down With Love, but forgot about her cute–and incredibly clean–apartment. I just barely saw Pillow Talk for the first time a few weeks ago and now I know why it seemed so familiar–the playboy room changing at the switch of a button and the trying to get the girl by being someone else. Now I’m convinced I need to go see more Doris Day movies–I’ve only seen three in my whole life, I think. Sad stuff.

    Aubrey’s last blog post..Untacky Valentines

  3. says

    When we first signed up for Blockbuster Total Access I went and ordered every movie that Doris Day played in. Including all the seasons of The Doris Day Show, much to my husband’s dismay. I just don’t know how you can’t love her.

    Heather’s last blog post..Christmas Tree Shops

  4. says

    Ooh, a firepit in the living room! Love it! I, too, am a huge Doris Day fan (Pillow Talk is one of my all-time faves). I haven’t seen Down with Love, but I really enjoyed the tour. What a fun post!

    bungalow_bliss’s last blog post..Hello, Sunshine!

  5. says

    Ohhh, I was so wrong in my guess. Weren’t the sets on that movie amazing! What a fun movie to feature.

    Also, where has Ewan McGregor been lately? I love him. He always has a cute twinkle in his eye. Let’s put out an APB shall we?


  6. says

    Julia, these posts are proving to be as good for my netflix queue as they are for my decorating files!

    Karen’s last blog post..Stairway

  7. says

    I’m going to have to rent Down With Love soon! I loved the photos – particularly the one showing the guys standing in front of the painted set of the NYC skyline. Super neat to see behind the scenes!

    christy’s last blog post..Gourmand Supermom? Moi? Oui Oui!!!

  8. says

    Oh Doris… she’s up there with Audrey, in my books. I’m curious to see this movie…. even just to see the set design! A-M xx

    A-M’s last blog post..Getting There

  9. says

    Julia that was such a fun post~love the way you re-cap movies and talk about the sets!
    Somehow I missed seeing this movie “Down with Love”. I was working then, very long hours so I didn’t go to the movies. I am going to go out and rent it now! 😀 (YaY) I am totally diggin on that pink sofa-sooo groovy! LoL!
    Can’t wait to see your post on “Pillow Talk” one of my all time fav’s!
    ~Tam :)

    Tam’s last blog post..I Heart YOU!!!

  10. says

    I love that living room. Looks like “Barbie” lives there. I am going to go and get this movie to watch again….
    Thanks for Movie Monday,

  11. says

    Good timing…I’ve got absolutely nothing planned (after the kids go to bed, of course) – I’m going to see if there are any Doris Day movies on instant view on Netflix. Yea, my life is THAT exciting!


    Susan Smith’s last blog post..Pillow Talk

  12. says

    I’ve never seen this movie but I love her apartment- especially the pink sofa- too cool! I might have to rent this one- for the sofa and for David Hyde Pierce, I love him in everything I’ve seen him in.

    Amy’s last blog post..From Zero to Discouraged in 2.4 Seconds

  13. says

    I love Doris Day movies. My favorite is Lover Come Back and Touch of Mink. It is funny too me that you did this post about Down with Love. I just bought this movie and can’t wait to watch it.

  14. says

    Thank you so much for these fabulous photos. That was the best ever. Going to Youtube now . . .

  15. says

    Well….you know we are Doris fans, and Pillow Talk was just ooooozing with great decorating ideas. We always loved the “space aged” kitchen in The Glass Bottom Boat ~ as well as the slap-stick humor!
    Stop on by for our giveaway this week if you have time!!
    Have a great week Julia!

  16. says

    I hate to show my age but none of these movies can compete with the charm and glamour of the oldies. Doris Day, Rock Hudson…just magic together.

  17. says

    I haven’t actually seen this movie! One to look out for at the rental place when I need something. I love Doris Day, so this would be perfect

  18. Kay says

    Love these blogs you do on movies…how about NIGHTS IN RODANTHE? I watched it on DVD this week-end and that beach house is awesome. I live on the east coast (South Carolina) so I’m always into beach houses. Thanks for this great blog. It’s one of my favorites.

  19. Susan says

    I love this movie…and oh, the clothes and decorating…such fun. Might have to watch it this weekend again…and YES on the Doris Day movies…my 9 YO loves her.

  20. Pam says

    I’ve just discovered your delightful website! I was ecstactic to find your Movie Houses articles. This one is so yummy. The “Down With Love” project is just a little package; cast, costumes, sets, storyline; like a chocolate raspberry bon bon. While quickly perusing your Movie House articles, I was reminded of two of my film favorites…Diane Keaton’s home in “Something’s Gotta Give” and the Lake Winnipesaukee vacation house in “What About Bob?”. Thanks for your charming website. I’ll be a frequent visitor.