Love & Other Drugs
Release date: November 24, 2010
Director: Edward Zwick
Book by: Jamie Reidy
Screenplay by: Charles Randolph, Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Oliver Platt, Hank Azaria, Judy Greer
Based on the book titled HARD SELL: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman by Jamie Reidy, Love & Other Drugs is a romantic dramedy about an intelligent, handsome, charming guy called Jamie (Gyllenhaal) who, despite his smarts, decides to go through life hopping from salesman job to salesman job, while also jumping from bed to bed.
Then, he meets Maggie (Hathaway) at a doctor’s appointment, a sassy, out-spoken woman who happens to suffer from Parkinson’s disease.
The best thing Love & Other Drugs has in its favor is its leads. Jake Gyllenhaal is charming and very likable despite his player antics, while Anne Hathaway matches him step by step. Even if the film was marketed as a simple romantic comedy with loads of naked Gyllenhaal and naked Hathaway — which it has — the film contains some more “adult” drama that might turn off romantic comedy audiences. Having said that, both of them are quite competent in their roles, though I’m unsure if they work that well together. In contrast to their sour relationship on Brokeback Mountain, Jamie and Maggie have to have that sizzle that was being tried with the nakedness, but seemed to work in an awkward funnier way for me.
Nevertheless, Zwick’s romantic dramedy isn’t really all that romantic, and it isn’t really all that funny or dramatic either. It’s trying to cover all these things, and it’s not getting it quite right. Love & Other Drugs is nice, but not memorable. They have the stars presence, but the story falls short… and don’t even get me started on Jamie’s bro played by Josh Gad. Is it in to have a token not-funny funny-looking man? And while I have a senseless love for Judy Greer in most movies she’s on (come on, she was great on 13 Going On 30), most of the cast is quite forgettable, barely worth remembering beyond the end credits
Visually competent, the only thing that might be of note is a strange time-slip. What was up with that 1996 montage where Jamie is selling flat screens TVs and pretty slim phones? It’s a mistake that OCD bugged me in Bandage, and it bugs me here, where it’s even a bigger production slip-up.
Wow, I didn’t realize I was going to hate the movie so much. I actually felt it was okay at the end… guess the aftertaste isn’t worth even a quarter of an extra star.