Love and Other Drugs (2010)

Love-and-Other-Drugs-FilmonicStarring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Oliver Platt, Josh Gad, Hank Azaria, Gabriel Macht, Judy Greer

Directed by: Edward Zwick

R. 112 mins

A mature rom-com that, despite sexy leads delivering both laughter and drama, is severely lacking narrative focus. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Jamie, the charming, yet oversexed pharmaceutical salesman who never wanted to commit until he met Maggie (Anne Hathaway), a Parkinson’s patient who sees right through him. They soon discover that there is amazing chemistry between them and despite their fears, the two vow to make it work. Is it a passionate love story, or a dark and twisty one? Is it about intimacy? Is it about what it means to be a caregiver – through sickness and in health? Is it supposed to make me cry? Is it a satire of the pharmaceutical industry? The film is all of these things, but thankfully the remarkable sparks between Gyllenhaal and Hathaway makes the otherwise genre-bending experience quite a pleasure to watch. Tonally, there is quite a range and while many viewers may take issue with this, I enjoyed the fact that this story has both ups and downs with imperfect characters navigating their way through issues that many people face, which is something most romantic comedies tends to gloss over. Perhaps the most heinous crime of the film is that certain characters overstay their welcome (Jamie’s brother, for instance), while others simply disappear for a noticeable amount of time (Jamie’s partner, played by Oliver Platt). Nonetheless, Zwick’s erratic direction makes for a romance with far more charisma, intimacy (and nudity!) than most of it’s genre counterparts. Both smart and silly, Love and Other Drugs is a satisfying rom-com, grounded in reality by balancing life’s sour notes with plenty of sweetness – * * *

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