Love and Other Drugs (2010)

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IMDb Rating
6.7 out of 10 (view IMDb page)

Maggie (Hathaway) is an alluring free spirit who won't let anyone - or anything - tie her down. But she meets her match in Jamie (Gyllenhaal), whose relentless and nearly infallible charm serve him well with the ladies and in the cutthroat world of p

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MPAA Rating:
Comedy, Romance
Edward Zwick
Charles Randolph

Weekly Volcano's Review

Rev. Adam McKinney on November 23rd, 2010

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How frustrating it is to be faced with two-thirds of a good movie.

Love & Other Drugs presents itself as a biting satire of the prescription drug industry of the late ‘90s (period piece!). Later, it becomes a biting (biting!) depiction of a relationship between two people so self-involved the mere thought of a serious relationship sends them into fits of narcissistic panic. The second part is basically About Last Night... (the same way that Due Date is Planes, Trains & Automobiles, if you get my drift). The third part is bullshit romcom escapism.

Why on earth does Love & Other Drugs go and abandon all of the good things it has going for it in exchange for the same lame compromise that all of those other inferior movies insist on feeding us, time and time again?  Jamie and Maggie (Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, as the two self-involved weirdos) have enough interesting things going for them that we needn't muddy the waters with sentimental resolutions - loose ends tied up and all!

Jamie is a magnificent salesman and, apparently, the best-looking man alive. Not only does he have a silver tongue, but it seems that he is also in possession of several other silver appendages. He finds his career in pharmaceutical sales, which eventually amounts to lots of smooth-talking and the ability to get doctors laid.

He represents Zithromax, Zoloft and the rest of the Z-section in Pfizer's library. But when Viagra appears (doves released, church bells ringing), Jamie finds the one product he was meant to sell.

Meanwhile, Jamie meets a feisty gal named Maggie. She hates him. He wants her. She hates him less. They have sex a whole bunch.

Their relationship develops slowly and somewhat sweetly, despite their constant insistence that what they have is casual, and that neither should get too attached - although why would they? These are self-involved people who care only for the moment and the immediate satisfaction it can bring. They can never be!

Complications arise when Jamie needs to come to terms with Maggie's illness. She has Parkinson's, a debilitating and incurable disease that wastes her later years in ravishing tremors. Tough she is young and beautiful now, Jamie gets a harsh wakeup call at a Parkinson's support meeting  when an older man tells him bluntly what he can expect, should he and Maggie grow old together.

All the while, Love & Other Drugs seems like it's going to come out on the other side as a very good movie. Thinking back on it, though, I still have no idea just exactly what I think of it. I give it 2 ½ stars out of disappointment for its last third, where it inexplicably jumps the rails. Motives seem to be thrown out of the window in favor of the tired motions of a romcom, and in favor of an ill-advised scene involving a crazy party.

So, what is it that you do with two-thirds of a good movie? Should I tell you to stick around for the first 90 minutes and then come to me and I'll tell you how it ends?

But it seems unfair to condemn a movie that tried significantly harder than most other mainstream movies to provoke, entertain and surprise. Points need to be given for effort, and Love & Other Drugs, if nothing else, tries its very best. – Two and a half out of four stars

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