Written by: Kris Isacsson
Starring: Freddie Prinze, Jr., Julia Stiles, Selma Blair, Shawn Hatosy, Zak Orth
Being in your 20s typically indicates a time where adulthood begins to enter life with plenty of responsibilities, but also the opportunity to make some mistakes along the way that hopefully are not too life-altering. With brains still developing in the early parts, not having complete maturity can be expected, but then you have the person the audience is meant to sympathize with in Down to You. A dreadful character matched by an equally terrible story, this film provides nothing to enjoy and everything to dislike.
While in college, Al (Freddie Prinze Jr.) begins dating first-year student, Imogen (Julia Stiles). They share plenty of romantic moments together until both of them begin to feel the seriousness of their relationship and begin to question if they’re ready for it. It leads to a roller coaster ride where they try to figure out what their future holds in their lives and with each other.
Stories revolving around immature people can be relatable for some audience members as they can see themselves in the way they acted in the past and have hopefully grown from it. Everyone, myself included, has done things in our younger days we cringe at but the level of immaturity meant to connect with the audience in Down to You reaches a level of stupidity that became hard to get behind. Sure, college provides the opportunity for people to meet others and get into different relationships, but having a little perspective remains critical to the brain of any functioning adult, which Al apparently does not possess in this film.
It begins with the relationship he builds with Imogen and while he’s older than her, they form a bond they never thought they could achieve. Everything just clicks and he’s able to turn down offers from other women because he believes he has fallen in love with Imogen. All of it makes sense until the film gets until the fabricated nonsense comes into play. Al finds himself at an impasse with both his career aspirations and his relationship with Imogen. He wants to do French cuisine while his father wants the young man to join the family cooking show and has a relationship with Imogen where he cannot give her the comforts she requests. It becomes evident they are not meant for each other with the confluence of events that occur between them and their unwillingness to bend. It begs the question of why the audience should be rooting for this couple?
As the story continues, different moments show how their relationship bends and does not break with each new obstacle taking away pieces of what once promised to be a wonderful love story. The relationship in this film sets up the potential to be a couple that the audience roots for them come together despite their fights, but their immaturity makes it clear these two should not be in a relationship with anybody. One of the events leading up to their eventual break comes from the anger of Imogen turning down sex with Al and the way he responds somehow is meant to convince these characters are ready for any sort of commitment when they really need to take a step back and reevaluate.
Finding blame for this travesty goes across the board, as it serves as the beginning of a decade with tremendous movies but also an enormous pile of terrible ones. I’ll let you guess based on this review, which classification this specific film receives in my estimations. Written and directed by Kris Isaacson, nothing about this romantic comedy had any genuine laughs within it and the story only served to show how audiences are meant to connect with this self-serving guy who cannot think past his own pleasures before considering that love requires some sort of commitment and sacrifice. This also does not exonerate Imogen, who has her own issues to take on and serves as the other half of this malfunctioning relationship. It does not get more 2000s than a romantic comedy starring Julia Stiles and Freddie Prinze Jr and it showed how unimaginative and putrid it proved to be.
Down to You provides no reason as to why anyone should go back and revisit it. Sure, if you want a trip down nostalgia lane it can provide some enjoyment, but its story elements remain dated and not very interesting in the grand scheme. It has been forgotten within the romantic comedy genre for a reason, as it fails to deliver on both sides of said genre to an unsettling degree.