Review: Love and Other Drugs (2010)

Love and Other Drugs (2010)
112 minutes
Directed by Edward Zwick
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Josh Gad, Hank Azaria

Grade:  C-

One thing’s for sure… with the leads of Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, we are presented with two young, talented, and very good-looking actors. With Ed Zwick behind the camera, I told myself that I would be disappointed if these two fall in love, fall out of love, only to fall in love at the end. Needless to say, I was disappointed.

What’s funny is I think I would’ve enjoyed the film more if it was just a simple story about these two going through the ups and downs of a relationship. But the film tries too hard to break from that cliche and adds layers to hide the fact that this is just a love story. The end product is a messy, clueless tale that allows the light tone to fizzle and the serious one to overpower what’s left of this dramedy.

In brief, Jamie (Gyllenhaal) is a womanizer who works for Pfizer. He meets Maggie (Hathaway) who suffers from Parkinson’s disease. Both characters are very strong, forward, and confident. They enjoy casual sex until they start taking each other seriously. Jamie starts selling Viagra and he blossoms as a drug rep, but starts questioning his future with Maggie. Maggie believes Jamie can only love her if she’s cured, which breaks her apart from him.

Something that Ed Zwick does well is addressing serious topics while masking it with entertaining factors. In Blood Diamond, he showed the war in Sierra Leone as Leonardo DiCaprio wielded a gun and had Jennifer Connelly fall for him. In The Last Samurai, he showed the restoration of the Empire of Japan while Tom Cruise fought side-by-side with Ken Watanabe and fell in love with their culture. Unfortunately, Zwick should stick with his political action-thrillers because Love and Other Drugs didn’t succeed in its attempt to show the war between drug companies, the difficult life of a couple dealing with illness, and a traditional love story.

There were moments of the film that displayed the potential the film had, but the film was merely a chick-flick dramedy with a gimmick to get guys to see it: a nude Anne Hathaway. The characters of Jamie and Maggie aren’t relatable and for the first half of the film they’re very unlikable. Only when their characters received a little depth did I become invested in the story. But the sappy ending was the last straw in my attempt to like the film.

It seems to me this film is a hit or miss. It certainly missed with me so I cannot recommend it, but if you’re a female that wants to see the dreamy Jake Gyllenhaal win girls over for two hours, then this might be the film for you.


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