Edward Zwick (director)
20th Century Fox (studio)
112 mins (length)
23 May 2011 (released)
22 May 2011
Jake Gyllenhaal is good at making characters likeable, so when the film opens with his character Jamie getting fired from his job after seducing a coworker, you already somehow like him (and his ridiculously expressive face). His successful younger brother gets him a job with Pfizer (a leading pharmaceutical company) and the film properly begins.
Love and Other Drugs is based very loosely on the memoir of pharmaceutical salesman Jamie Reidy, and the film has this at its core throughout. He meets Maggie (Anne Hathaway), a sufferer of early onset Parkinson's disease, while desperately trying to sell an alternative Prozac to jaded Dr. Knight (Hank Azaria). While Maggie gives a realistic look at living with a degenerative disease and drug-dependency, Dr. Knight comes from another angle and encourages the audience never to be a doctor (juggling 50 patients a day, insurance companies and lawyers).
Where the film falls down early is by trying to do too much. Sometimes it sticks with the memoir feel and goes for a social commentary, sometimes going with a standard romcom feel (complete with montages), sometimes like a cool indie, and strangely a few moments of teen movie about it. By continuously changing, the film seems a lot longer than it should at only an hour and fifty minutes. The other major problem is that you find yourself hoping occasionally that Maggie and Jamie don't end up together, which is never a good sign.
Those (pretty damning) problems aside, there are upsides. There are plenty of great characters, such as Oliver Platt as Jamie's gruff mentor, and Josh Gad as Jamie's brother staying with him while suffering a breakdown. An early scene with Jamie's bickering family is excellent, and it's a pity they don't appear enough. Another positive for many people is the large amount of sex and nudity throughout (mostly, but not exclusively Hathaway and Gyllenhaal). I have always liked Anne Hathaway, but never had as much of a teenage-boy crush on her as I do now.
Love and Other Drugs is quite good; a bit of a mess, but saved by a very good cast and some brilliant scenes. If you want an easy watch, you may find yourself turning off somewhere in the middle, but it's great for fans of Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway (with or without their clothes on).To be in with a chance of winning 1000 CDs/DVDs including rare, signed and promotional copies simply ‘like’ our Award Winning facebook page here! And double your chances by following us on Twitter For all CDs, gig tickets and other music related prizes visit our sister site music-news.com competitions page here.