Sunday, December 5, 2010

Review: Love and Other Drugs

Grade: B-

Jamie Randall is a smooth talker who can use his outgoing personality and charm to sell almost anything. So one day when he loses his job at an electronics store, he finds a job at Pfizer selling pharmaceuticals at doctor’s offices in Ohio. One day he meets Maggie, an alluring free spirit, and is instantly attracted to her and is determined to get a date with her. When she finally agrees, Jamie finds out that Maggie won’t let anybody, or anything, tie her down. At first he is ok with just having sex with her, but soon he realizes that he is developing much stronger feelings for her. This takes them both by surprise, but Jamie is persistent while Maggie keeps trying to convince him to leave.

Love and Other Drugs was a fun and funny movie that has an identity crisis about halfway through. The first part of the movie is great and everything leading up scene where Jamie and Maggie meet is great and hilarious and just pure fun. Then the relationship begins and it’s still fun with lots of humor (and tons of sex) thrown in there, basically your typical romantic comedy. Then all of a sudden, a little over halfway through the movie, the mood of the movie takes a sharp left turn and it becomes a serious drama about a woman, Maggie, with Parkinson’s. Now her Parkinson’s isn’t that bad yet (she’s 28) but there is a serious dramatic scene involving her dealing with it, then shortly after that we meet a whole bunch of people with Parkinson’s and they discuss how they live with it. It almost felt like a PSA for Parkinson’s and I kept expecting Michael J. Fox to show up and start talking about the Michael J. Fox foundation. These scenes were very well done and they make you think and help raise awareness about the disease, it just felt a little out of place. What makes them feel even more out of place is that in the middle of these dramatic scenes there are random awkward jokes, often slapstick style jokes. It was entertaining to me because during these scenes, when one of the jokes would happen, I would hear people laughing in the theater, but it was nervous laughter, like they were thinking “That’s kind of funny but I’m not sure if I should be laughing during this situation.” Then the movie tries to return to the romantic comedy genre, but you and the characters in the movie are shaken by these events but they keep putting these jokes in there and it just feels forced at times.

Jake Gyllenhaal (Prince of Persia, Jarhead) plays Jamie Randall, a smooth talking pharmaceuticals rep. Gyllenhaal is great in the movie and is very enjoyable in this role. He manages to handle the fast talking and the comedic aspects of the movie really well, as well as the more dramatic stuff. Anne Hathaway (Alice In Wonderland, Get Smart) plays the role of Maggie, a 28 year old artist with stage 1 Parkinson’s. Hathaway is great in this movie and did well with the comedy but was really great with the dramatic stuff. If that performance wasn’t in this movie, it would almost warrant an Oscar nomination at times. She also chose to be nude in this movie, a lot, like almost to the point where it was unnecessary. There are many sex scenes in this movie, so much so that it made the elderly couple next to me really uncomfortable. The movie also features Oliver Platt, Hank Azaria, Josh Gad, Gabriel Macht, Judy Greer and more.

Love and Other Drugs is a fun romantic comedy with an identity crisis. It really is an enjoyable movie and is well worth seeing. I liked it, and it has one of the more powerful scenes of any movie this year in it, I just didn’t get why in the middle of all that was happening in this movie, they felt it was necessary to really depress you.

1 comment:

  1. I am going to give this flick a try. u convinced me.

    p.s. another dollar to