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

by hookedonhouses on February 16, 2009

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, even if they weren’t quite up to the task (in my opinion–I know there are lots of people who loved them in the roles, and I may even be in the minority here).

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.

I was only able to find a couple of photos from “Down With Love” on the Internet, so I took the majority of these as I watched the movie on DVD and the special features that came with it. You can find more pictures of the sets at the SDSA (Set Decorators Society of America) site.

Linda of Silver Screen Surroundings did a couple of posts about “Down With Love” in 2007 that you should check out, telling you how to recreate the looks of Barbara’s penthouse and Catcher’s bachelor pad.

UPDATE: Check out the sets from the Doris Day-Rock Hudson comedy “Pillow Talk.”

Visit my TV/Movie Houses page for links to all the others I’ve featured, from “You’ve Got Mail” to “Something’s Gotta Give.”

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Ramona February 16, 2009 at 8:44 am

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

Lazy Mom Leslie February 16, 2009 at 9:03 am

Thanks so much for all the pictures! I especially loved the production pictures. It’s so interesting to see the set as a set, not a real room.

Lazy Mom Leslie’s last blog post..A Place for Everything

maya | springtree road February 16, 2009 at 9:09 am

i don’t think i could sit through that movie – i’d much rather see doris and rock! but this is a fun post. :)

maya | springtree road’s last blog post..©1974

Pretty Organizer February 16, 2009 at 9:49 am

I’m a huge Dorris Day fan. Love all her stuff! I haven’t seen this one though! I’m off to check to see if it’s on netflicks or Blockbuster! Thanks for the tip off girl!

Pretty Organizer’s last blog post..Tying Yourself Down to a Schedule

Aubrey February 16, 2009 at 10:19 am

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

Kim @ Forever Wherever February 16, 2009 at 10:26 am

What a beautiful view from her apartment! Love the pink couch!

Kim @ Forever Wherever’s last blog post..Bringing Outside In!

Heather February 16, 2009 at 10:38 am

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

bungalow_bliss February 16, 2009 at 10:41 am

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!

Melissa February 16, 2009 at 11:44 am

How have I missed this movie?? I am skipping Netflix & running straight to Blockbuster!!

Melissa’s last blog post..Go on- Goyard!!

Luphia February 16, 2009 at 11:54 am

i adore everything vintage! all the decor are just fabulous, aren’t those pretty pink chairs to die for? Stunning post!


Luphia’s last blog post..Tim’s Wonderland

AnNicole February 16, 2009 at 12:24 pm

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?


desiree February 16, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Didn’t care for the Movie but the sets were gorgeous and so is Ewan. I’d watch ANYTHING with him in it!

desiree’s last blog post..Renovating and Decorating to Inspire Home and Business

Karen February 16, 2009 at 12:45 pm

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

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sandra/tx February 16, 2009 at 1:25 pm

That’s not the best movie ever, but wouldn’t it have been fun to be the set designer? I love the pink and white apartment. Too fun!

sandra/tx’s last blog post..Hamptons Showhouse

christy February 16, 2009 at 1:51 pm

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!!!

A-M February 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm

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

Tam February 16, 2009 at 3:19 pm

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! :D (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 :)

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Mom in High Heels February 16, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Man I love this movie. EYE CANDY! It’s like opening a box of beautiful French confections. Delicious!

Mom in High Heels’s last blog post..Many Mini-Metas

Suzy February 16, 2009 at 4:46 pm

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,

Amy @ Living Locurto February 16, 2009 at 5:40 pm

Cute post. I don’t think I’ve ever sat through a Doris Day movie, so this was educational for me:-) I’m more of a Marilyn Monroe girl. I’ve seen all of her movies.

Amy @ Living Locurto’s last blog post..Weekly Meal Plan – Week 1

Susan Smith February 16, 2009 at 5:58 pm

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

Amy February 16, 2009 at 7:19 pm

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

shell February 16, 2009 at 7:21 pm

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.

TWB February 16, 2009 at 8:28 pm

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

The Summer Kitchen Girls February 16, 2009 at 9:11 pm

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!

JudyBug February 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm

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.

frenchgardenhouse February 17, 2009 at 2:11 am

Fabulous set! How fun would it be to live there, now. Pink chairs and sofa and all.
xo Lidy

boysmum2 February 17, 2009 at 2:17 am

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

Kay February 17, 2009 at 11:40 am

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.

SoBella Creations February 17, 2009 at 5:57 pm

I loved Pillow Talk! Great movie.

SoBella Creations’s last blog post..MomDot ~ Where the Blogging Mom’s Go

Lindsay February 17, 2009 at 8:59 pm

I thought this was a cute movie! It’s been a while since I saw it, so maybe I’ll Netflix it soon. I really love the set.

Lindsay’s last blog post..Giveaway! Giveaway! Giveaway!

Vickie Bartlett February 18, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Down with Love sounds like a movie worth watching. I too am a Doris Day Fan.

Vickie Bartlett’s last blog post..Win a Slow Cooker Mate from Ohana Mama

angela | the painted house February 18, 2009 at 10:14 pm

I thought it was this movie–my first in your movie trivia! But I couldn’t remember the name. I loved the sets and costumes. I love campy. Though I think this was very tasteful camp. Camp I covet, in fact. Fun post, Julia!

angela | the painted house’s last blog post..The Cottage Project: We Have Walls!

Susan February 20, 2009 at 4:05 pm

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.

Pam February 21, 2009 at 10:24 am

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.

bob fast February 25, 2009 at 9:22 am

I didn’t really like this film, but then i’m not really into romantic movies.

credit to you for the great website.

bob fast’s last blog post..Is the landlord obliged to pay interest on lease amount, until he pays back after termination of agreement?

Maryann Roy December 4, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Love it ! Thanks for the link!
Maryann ;)
.-= Maryann Roy´s last blog ..“Welcome Home” Promo Jingle ! =-.

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