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A RomanticComedy farce that lampoons romantic comedies from the 1950s and early '60s, particularly the Rock Hudson and Doris Day films.

Aspiring author Barbara Novak ([[Creator/ReneeZellweger Renée Zellweger]]) arrives in New York to publish her book, ''[[TitleDrop Down With Love]]'', which encourages female empowerment through chocolate and casual sex. It becomes an international best seller, even edging out a biography of John F. Kennedy, and millions of women everywhere buy it and start learning from its precepts. This does not sit well with the majority of men in the world, least of all Catcher Block (Creator/EwanMcGregor), a reporter for Know Magazine, and TheCasanova rivalling Film/JamesBond in both suaveness and libido. After Novak calls him out for his behavior on national television, he hatches a scheme to get her to fall in love with him, thereby violating her own golden rule. She's already expressed her displeasure with him, so in order to get into her pants, he fabricates the persona of a country-boy astronaut who has just touched back down to earth, and as such has no idea of her book or her identity.

There is also a BetaCouple of Barbara's chain-smoking best friend and publisher Vikki Hiller, and Catcher's neurotic boss Peter [=MacMannus=], who get drawn into the hijinks of Catcher and Barbara.

(For the 2010 TaiwaneseSeries of the same name, see ''Series/DownWithLove''.)
!!This film shows examples of:

* AffectionateParody / {{Pastiche}} / {{Homage}} to the Doris Day-Rock Hudson comedies of TheFifties.
* AllMenArePerverts: The senior editors of Banner House lean forward eagerly as Barbara begins elaborating on the self-pleasuring technique outlined in her book...then sit back in disappointment when the chapter's title turns out to be "Up With Chocolate."
* AnswerCut: At the end of Catcher's first scene in the film with Peter, Catcher asks "What is it about the work place that women just can't seem to handle?" Cut to an angry Barbara in the cab with Vikki: "Men!"
* {{Beatnik}}: Catcher comes back to his real apartment to find that Peter and Vicki are throwing a party filled with archetypical beret wearing beatniks. Then Barbara drops by and catches "Zip" ''in flagrante delicto'' with a beatnik chick.
* BecomingTheMask: [[spoiler:Nancy becomes Barbara. And of course, Catcher pretending to be in love with Barbara leads to him falling in love with her for real.]]
* BetaCouple: Vikki and Peter.
* BigApplesauce: Along with some TelevisionGeography shots of a stylized New York City.
* BigDamnKiss: A good number of them between Catcher and Barbara. The one at the end of the dinner scene between the two in Peter's apartment. [[spoiler:A few after Barbara's {{Infodump}}. And finally a few in the elevator at the end.]]
** Peter gives Vikki one after the InspirationalInsult moment mentioned below.
* CampGay: Maurice Johns, art director of Banner House, is portrayed this way in both of his scenes.
* TheCasanova: Catcher Block, so much.
* ChangeTheUncomfortableSubject: During Peter and Vikki's date at Catcher's place, Vikki asks if a picture next to the couch is of Peter's parents. Peter [[ReflexiveResponse replies that no, they are Catcher's parents]] (because it's Catcher's apartment). When Vikki asks why Peter has a picture of Catcher's parents, Peter realises his mistake and tells her they should listen to some music.
* ChekhovsGun: [[spoiler:The key Catcher leaves out for his girlfriends. And the NASA security clearance badge.]]
** Catcher's helicopter. It appears dropping him off at the ''Know'' offices when we first see him, [[spoiler:then it returns at the end when Catcher and Barbara use it to go to Vegas to get married.]]
* CreativeClosingCredits: The ending credits include an extra scene with Renee & Ewan singing a duet and one with David Hyde Pierce and Creator/SarahPaulson.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Via the magic of SplitScreen, Barbara and "Zip"'s conversation looks like other activities, complete with [[SmokingHotSex cool-down cigarette]].
** There's also Catcher and Peter's conversation about the length of their... socks.
* DramaticThunder: Two examples near the end. The first is during a ThunderEqualsDownpour moment. The second is later when Catcher has a EurekaMoment [[spoiler:and realises what he can do to try and get back with Barbara.]]
* DrivingADesk: Done as an homage, although the characters are in the back of a driven car rather than driving it themselves. Peyton Reed originally wanted the sequence to use rear projection but had to use chroma key for practical purposes.
* DrowningMySorrows: While Catcher and Peter are at the Astronette bar, a depressed Peter is doing this because of how he thinks it's over between him and Vikki.
* EmpathicEnvironment: When [[spoiler:Barbara leaves Catcher near the end and he sadly watches her cab drive away]], a thunderstorm starts. It's still raining in the next scene [[spoiler:with Catcher depressed over losing Barbara]].
* EurekaMoment: "I'm just like every other man!"
** Catcher has one ([[DramaticThunder accompanied by a thunderclap]]) [[spoiler:when he gets the idea to write a new expose about how falling in love with Barbara changed him and made him a better person.]]
* EverythingIsAnIpodInTheFuture: Not ''TheFuture", but Now Magazine's offices are built to be much rounder than their competitor's.
* FengSchwing: Spoofed with Catcher's apartment, which, among other things, has a hideaway bar that takes up the entire wall.
* FoodPills: Referenced by Catcher when pretending to be an astronaut, claiming to be tired of eating things such as "pellet steak" and "potato tablets".
* {{Foreshadowing}}: [[spoiler: In the hairdresser, Catcher states that Peter said - though he didn't - that Barbara was a brunette and did not sound like a blonde on the telephone. As we find out later in both senses, she was, and isn't.]]
** When Catcher hires [=McNulty=], he says he's sure someone hurt Barbara in the past. [[spoiler:He's right. He just didn't realise that that someone was actually him.]]
* FriendsRentControl : Another parody. Barbara lives in a gorgeous, expansive apartment with a terrace. While this might be Justified if she had already been a best-seller, she moves in the day she arrives.
* GambitRoulette: [[spoiler:Barbara/Nancy's entire plot to snare Catcher, which essentially hinges on her uncanny prediction of the entirety of the film's events up until the point of her revelation.]]
* GodivaHair: The Beatnik girl (topless but implied to be fully naked) in the party scene.
* HeroesGoneFishing: When Catcher calls Barbara to arrange their dinner date at Peter's, Barbara is in the midst of sunbathing and Catcher is doing a workout. Also earlier, Catcher is eating a hot dog and Peter is talking about how he needs to pick up his dry cleaning. Catcher sees Barbara and decides to do it on Peter's behalf.
* HighClassGloves: A few of the fancy dresses have matching gloves, including the gold dresses the triplets wore.
* HistoricalInJoke: A deleted scene had Vikki pitching a number of books to her fellow editors, all of which are rejected out of hand. They're all famous feminist works that sold incredibly well and helped shape the movement. Except the last, which was the biography of Neil Armstrong, with a foreword by God.
* HurricaneOfPuns: Catcher and Barbara's conversation near the end, about their two magazines, [[WhosOnFirst "Know" and "Now"]].
* IKnowYouKnowIKnow: [[spoiler:How Nancy/Barbara knew her plan would work.]]
** Later parodied with the aforementioned HurricaneOfPuns.
* {{Infodump}}: Parodied with Barbara's revelatory speech detailing her whole plan. It goes on for three straight minutes without once cutting away from Renée Zellweger.
** Includes an absolutely priceless ReactionShot from Ewan [=McGregor=].
* InspirationalInsult: Towards the end of the movie, Peter finally gets the courage to make a move on Vicki when she, upset with him over something else, slaps him and tells him that he's "just like every other man!" So he realizes that he needs to stop overthinking it, just "be a man", get out of his head and into her pants. So he does.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Catcher. He's a notorious womanizer ("ladies' man, man's man, man about town", actually) and initially views women as little more than objects or conquests (seeing Gwendolyn and Yvette alone over the course of one day), but he's also a brilliant journalist, a good friend to Peter and encourages Peter to pursue a relationship with Vikki. [[CharacterDevelopment And by the end of the film, he's much more respectful to women than he was at the start]].
* LadykillerInLove: Catcher when he starts BecomingTheMask. [[spoiler:In pretending to be a man interested in Barbara, his interest becomes genuine and he starts actually falling in love with her.]]
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: At dinner, Vikki tells Peter how she dismissed the theory that life was a zany sex comedy in which he switched keys with the lead to ensnare her. Unsurprisingly, the theory that Peter was gay made more sense.
* LightIsGood: Catcher's white jacket that he wears throughout the film, such as during his introduction scene and when he meets Barbara at the dry cleaners.
* LineOfSightName: Catcher's alias of "Zip Martin", via signs in a drycleaners.
* LivingLegend: Catcher Block, ladies' man, man's man, man about town is a SexGod.
* LogoJoke: The Creator/TwentiethCenturyFox logo of the film's era begins the movie, complete with credits to [=CinemaScope=]. The "A News Corporation Company" byline is ungainly added in.
** Barbara Novak deliberately seeks this out as part of her {{plan}}.
* MatchCut: In the Mahogany Room, Peter and Vikki are about to clink glasses (Peter has no glass so he opts for a shaker - no, an ''actual'' shaker), and it cuts to Barbara and Catcher in a theatre box clinking their own glasses.
* MeaningfulEcho: Catcher saying "One, two, three, four..." after leaving Barbara, expecting her to react to his walking away. The first time he does it after the dry cleaner's scene, and it works. [[spoiler:The second, he does it at her offices at ''Now'', expecting her to follow him. She doesn't. Instead, she appears in the elevator as he waits for it.]]
* MistakenForGay: Peter, played by gay actor David Hyde Pierce.
* TheMistress: The mistress of Theodore Banner, head of the publishing house, stops listening to him thanks to the book.
* OffscreenInertia: [[spoiler:So... Are they going to stay on that rope ladder all the way to Vegas?]]
* OffscreenTeleportation: [[spoiler:Barbara appearing in the elevator at the very end, when Catcher had just tried to apologize to her in her office.]]
* OhCrap:
** Vikki gets one in Catcher's apartment the first time when Peter causes the couch behind her to convert into a bed behind her, knocking her over, especially the look on her face before it crashes down on top of her.
** [[spoiler:Peter accidentally revealing the truth about Catcher's plan in front of Vikki.]]
** Catcher has a minor one after the OohMeAccentsSlipping moment below, but he recovers fairly fast. [[spoiler:He then gets another one when Gwendolyn appears and ruins his plan by using his name.]]
* OldMaid: Vicki's secretary Gladys is a parody of the old maid trope, presented as DeliberateValuesDissonance.
* OnlyKnownByInitials: PlayedForLaughs with the editors at Banner House. At the beginning, they introduce themselves to Barbara as E.G., C.B., C.W., J.B., J.R., and R.J.. When Barbara replies with "Okay!", E.G. says that O.K. couldn't make it, he and T.B. are having breakfast. The only one who's actually named is T.B., Theodore Banner, the owner of Banner House. Barbara and Vikki have a moment of this later when they refer to themselves as B.N. and V.H. after the book sales skyrocket, although of course their names were known to the other beforehand.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: In-story. Catcher's Southern accent as Zip Martin briefly slips into his own when he remarks Barbara has an eyelash, and she points it out. Followed by a minor OhCrap on his part.
* OpenMouthInsertFoot: C.W. in this exchange in the Banner House boardroom, which earns him funny looks from the other editors:
-->'''Barbara''': I said women should refrain from love, C.W., not sex.
-->'''C.W.''' Isn't that the same thing?
* OverlyNarrowSuperlative: "Oh, Vikki! You're the best friend a girl from Maine who wrote a book and came to New York could ever have!" Meant as a genuine compliment. Peter also does one a few scenes later to Catcher: "You're the best friend a guy with twenty diagnosed neuroses ever had."
* OutGambitted: [[spoiler:Barbara pulls this on Catcher. It works out well for both of them though.]]
* PrettyInMink: Vikki wears a mink wrap for a date, and the stylish triplets wear identical white fox wraps.
* PunnyName: Catcher Block. Also Johnny Trementus, the quarterback.
* RecordNeedleScratch: Fairly justified. [[spoiler:Happens when Gwendolyn walks in on Barbara and Catcher, thus blowing Catcher's cover. Though we find out Barbara already knew who Catcher was.]]
* ReflexiveResponse: Two.
** In the scene where Peter is trying to woo Vikki at Catcher's apartment, she asks if a picture of Catcher's parents are Peter's. He immediately responds that they are Catcher's parents, which results in a ChangeTheUncomfortableSubject when he realises his mistake.
** The second occurs a few scenes later, also in Catcher's apartment, when Barbara enters Catcher's apartment at the party and encounters Catcher with the beatnik girl in his bedroom. She says, "Catch," as she tosses her coat onto the bed, where they are, and he reflexively sits up and says, "Yes?" This almost causes him to get caught out when Barbara recognizes him, but he manages to cover himself.
* {{Retraux}}: Everything is meant to evoke the look and style of a late '50s or early '60s romantic comedy, including the deliberately overlit sets, old-fashioned SplitScreen effects, cheesy rear-projected DrivingADesk scenes, etc. They even went as far as making the main cast's wardrobe from scratch, like a movie production from the era would have done, rather than obtaining period-specific clothing from a costume warehouse.
* RuleOfThree: When attempting to meet Barbara at the start of the film, Catcher is waylaid by his girlfriends three times. The third time, the line between their phone conversation is shaped like a lightning bolt and Barbara is understandably angry that he isn't coming.
* SameSexTriplets: Catcher's first scene is him, saying goodbye to three triplet brunettes who just can't bear to see him leave.
* SexyStewardess: Catcher Block seems to attract these like flies.
* SlapSlapKiss: Literally. Vikki slaps Peter after giving him the InspirationalInsult mentioned above, and a second later (after his EurekaMoment) he turns back to her and plants a BigDamnKiss on her.
* StrawFeminist: Parodied; the female characters spend the movie bouncing wildly between the early 1960s version of this trope and its 'Barbie doll housewife' extreme opposite.
* TemptingFate: When Barbara cites Catcher as the worst kind of man on TV, Catcher smugly remarks that "the four million women [he] goes out with don't listen to Barbara Novak". One phone call later from Gwendolyn, he's proven wrong, and it sends him into a moment of TranquilFury.
** After Barbara's {{Infodump}}, she tells Catcher she wanted him to hear the truth from her before he hears it from his private eye. Cue [=McNulty's=] phone call, who summarizes and confirms the truth.
* ThunderEqualsDownpour: [[spoiler:When Barbara leaves Catcher in the street after BecomingTheMask, this happens.]]
* TitleDrop: Obviously, with the title of Barbara's book.
* TranquilFury: Catcher briefly slips into this when he hears on the phone that Gwendolyn has rejected his date thanks to Barbara, and he promptly hangs up on her.
* TwiceShy: Peter and Vikki. That is, until the InspirationalInsult given to Peter by Vikki near the end.
* WeddingsForEveryone: [[spoiler:Barbara and Catcher fly away to Vegas to get married after they finally get together. The first post-credits scene shows Peter and Vikki proposing in unison over the phone and agreeing to get married as well.]]
* WhamLine: [[spoiler:"Because I'm not Barbara Novak. There is no Barbara Novak."]]
* YouGetMeCoffee: How Vikki's fellow editors demonstrate their contempt for her. Also subverted with the last editor.
-->'''Vikki:''' And you?
-->'''RJ:''' Oh, none for me.
-->'''Vikkie:''' Thanks, RJ.
-->'''RJ:''' I'll have a sanka.