As seems to be happening to me a lot lately, the only reason I entered the theater to see this movie was because of the cast. The previews looked, well, a bit dumb. I wasn’t quite sure what to think. But Ewan MacGregor and Renée Zellweger were in it, and my friend Amy wanted to go see it, so I went along for the ride.
And I was blown away by how much I was amused by it. It was fast and funny and completely ridiculous but catchy. My friends and I couldn’t stop laughing. And when it was done, I felt absolutely no need to explain away the choice of movie.
The closest thing I can compare it to is a Shakespearean comedy of errors. I haven’t seen such a witty, unexpected but completely classic rendering of this style of comedy in a long time. It was somehow simultaneously nost
algic and postmodern at the same time. The 1960s setting, along with the clever fast-paced cinematography
and well-designed sets, might have helped with blending classic with
modern in this film.
The plot has romantic comedy written all over it, if you’ll excuse the pun (one thing about this movie is that it’s not afraid of puns—quite a bold choice of humor that somehow works). Barbara Novak (Zellweger) is the author of a feminist book called Down with Love. Catcher Block (MacGregor) is the Pulitzer-winning journalist out to undermine her credibility by making her fall in love with him. Of course, he finds himself falling in love with her. It’s how and what happens afterwards that’s so much fun.
This movie could have been completely mangled with the wrong cast, but the right actors and actresses were hired for it. I left the theater feeling I had spent my money and my time well. I felt a bit like I’d been walking on a cloud for a couple of hours—not an unpleasant feeling at all.