Down to You was a case of adding insult to injury.
The injury was having to see this film at all. I would rather suffer whiplash in a VW bug than sit through this film again. The insult was that all through this film, I had to listen to three annoying teens who threw popcorn (which often landed on me).
Down to You is a very cheap romantic comedy about Al (Freddie Prinze Jr.), a love struck college student, and the object of his affection, Imogen (Julia Stiles). Despite two people who have brought at least bearable teen movies in the past (Prinze with She's All That and Stiles with 10 Things I Hate About You), these two never end up having either the chemistry or the humor to keep the majority of audiences engaged for 90 minutes. In fact, they have all of the chemistry of a couple eternally plagued with a lack of spark. For instance, they don't greet each other with the standard cinema kiss we have come to expect: it's a hug. Also, despite the fact that they are both in college and that one of them does show some talent for promiscuity, they take three months of dating before they first have sex. In the words of its target audience: as if.
Along the way on our ride down Melodrama Lane (better known as the film), we have a bizarre cast of supporting characters that might actually be funny if writer-director Kris Issacson (a man who picked up humor talents by being the assistant to Barbara Streisand in The Mirror Has Two Faces) had tried. We have the porn-star philosopher, Monk (Zak Orth), the other porn starlet who only wants someone to make her pancakes (Selma Blair), and the psychedelic drug dealer by the name of Jim Morrison (Ashton Kutcher). Each of these could have had great jokes thrown in, but they never are given the chance.
The thing that kills the movie the most is actually not its blandness but its desperate attempts to separate itself from the average teen movie. Told in separate voice-overs by Freddie Prinze Jr. and Julia Stiles, Down to You has the same Nora Ephron feel as you would find in Sleepless in Seattle. The entire film feels like it is trying to be both incredibly 90s and hip and incredibly old-fashioned. This combination ends up being the final blow to a very bad movie.
Outside the theater, I asked some teens about the film. As expected, they seemed to think that it was sweet and seemed to get an extra-special kick out of Jim Morrison. It looks like I have more insult added to injury, coming soon to a theatre near you.
10 Things she hates about Down To You.