Thursday, December 30, 2010

Love and Other Drugs (2010)

I wanted to see Love and Other Drugs for three reasons:

1) I really liked the title.

2) I think both the leads are gorgeous and talented.

3) In a radio interview, I heard Jake Gyllenhaal confess that he and Anne Hathaway would discuss and study the kinds of things that turn them on in bed as part of rehearsal.

Upon finishing the movie, all three things delivered. The title, the acting, and the sex scenes were climactic. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie was a buzz kill.

Love and Other Drugs, directed by Edward Zwick, takes place in the late ‘90s, but aside from the lack of Facebook talk, you can’t even tell that we were in a different decade (This, to me, was disappointing – besides Reality Bites, there haven’t been many movies that pay homage to my favorite era.) One of the ‘90s greatest contributions was the invention of a little blue pill — Viagra, and all of the jokes and spoofs that followed. The movie tells the story of Jamie (Gyllenhaal), a sales rep for pharmaceuticals who eventually strikes gold with Viagra sales. Jamie is the kind of guy who can get any girl he wants with his witty one-liners and dashing good looks. Personally, I was hoping that the “eternal, charming bachelor” allure would stay in the ‘90s, but I guess this is what we women want and crave from a man?

Ok. Next there is Maggie (which oddly enough is the name of Jake’s famous sister) played by Anne Hathaway as the free-spirited gal who believes commitment to be up there with a death sentence. Oh and she also has a life-threatening disease. Naturally, the free spirit and bachelor meet and exchange a lot of dialogue that can be summed up as follows - Free spirit: “Does that usually work on most girls?” Eternal bachelor: “I’ve never met anyone quite like you.” This banter goes on and on until they eventually fall in love and change one another for the better. In the midst of all this they have lots of sex. Plus, there is a nerdy brother who likes to masturbate for comedic relief. So, there it is—Love and Other Drugs, part romantic comedy, part lifetime for television, part screwball, and a dash of Showtime after dark.

The movie ambitiously tries to cross from one genre to the next using talented actors as its guides. And within each of the genres it tries to tackle it succeeds—it’s funny when it makes a joke, it’s sad when it makes a moving speech, and it’s undeniably sexy when it wants to be. The problem is that when it tries to mix all those things together it gets the same result that you do when you mix drugs and other substances—you either crash or pass out. I think this movie crashed, which is too bad; it gives good titles a bad name.


Dusty McGowan said...

There is one of those movies I'm curious about with out really wanting to see. (One of the great oxymorons of film going: I want to see that but it's probably not worth my time). I like both of the leads too...but I also like having the fast forward button at home...I'll waste less time that way.

Nice review, as always. Even if I don't comment, I always read.

The Bru said...

I second Dusty on both counts:

a) I will probably see this film at some point and I won't like it.
b) Very nice review, Z. As I said before, Z-views are ace. Dare I say, we'd like more of these? (*insert smiley face emoticon thingy here).

And thanks for reading Dusty. The support of a fellow blogger (and an excellent one at that) is very much appreciated.


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