Love and Other Drugs opened in theaters today, and surprisingly, it was a delight that cautiously tugged at your heartstrings.
Love and Other Drugs, based on Jamie Reidy’s memoir “Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman,” was about Jamie Randall, a womanizing pharmaceutical sales guy who meets Maggie Murdock (Anne Hathaway). Jamie learns that Maggie has Stage 1 Parkinson’s disease, but the two immediately become intoxicated by one drug: love.
After watching the film, I don’t understand what the big deal about the sex scenes were. Yes, they were raunchy, but some critics made it seem like the entire movie was just an orgy, and that wasn’t the case at all.
Jake Gyllenhaal was ever-so-charming in this film and had me swooning at his dimples and piercing blue eyes the whole time. He brought a vulnerable sensitivity to Jamie’s personality. Without Gyllenhaal’s ability to do this, the audience would merely see Jamie as a womanizing jerk.
Anne Hathaway actually surprised me in this film. She’s a great actress and I love her in all her movies, but this was the first film in which Hathaway actually made me feel her emotions, even when she cried. Her performance was truly one of her best as she brought a raw, rough around the edges sincerity to the character of Maggie.
When you put these two great actors together on screen, you undoubtedly get magic. The spark between Gyllenhaal and Hathaway was evident in their subtle mannerisms, as if the characters were written for them. Their chemistry was so strong that you wondered why the actors aren’t dating each other in real life. The romance wasn’t typical nor was the relationship between the characters, and this makes it stand out amongst other films in the same genre.
Hank Azaria played Dr. Stan Knight and Oliver Platt played Bruce Winston. Though they had supporting roles in the film, they both played their characters in a believable way. Josh Gad played Josh Randall, Jamie’s geeky, rich, perverted, younger brother and did a good job at being endearingly annoying. The scenes between him and older brother Jamie were hilarious and subtly touching at times.
The script gave depth to the main characters. It was well-written, full of dry humor, and the dialogue wasn’t forced. What was good about this film is that it wasn’t your typical romantic comedic drama. Director Edward Zwick did a great job in balancing what may have been cheesy scenes with humor and raw emotions so that it wasn’t overtly sappy. The shots he chose, especially the few black and white “videotaped” footage, broke the barrier between the audience and brought them that much closer to the characters.
I found that Love and Other Drugs focused on two types of relationships: that which you have with yourself, and that which you have with your significant other. In the end, this film was about accepting and making the best of the cards you’re dealt in life. While some may argue that it was predictable, I think the great acting and dialogue made up for that.
Zwick did a great job in telling the story of two people who hesitantly enter into the mysterious realm of uncertain and messy love. I give the film two thumbs up and a “Marry me Jake.”