Love And Other Drugs – Review

Love And Other Drugs, aka one of the most hated movies of the year. But unlike the overall opinion regarding this movie, I actually loved it!

Love And Other Drugs stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Jamie, an ADD son of a doctor, who doesn’t want to follow in his dad’s footsteps, so he gets a job as a pharmaceutical sales rep for Pfizer, the company that later on brought the world Viagra. While trying to sell his company’s drug, he meets Maggie, the character portrayed by Anne Hathaway. Maggie has an early onset of Parkinson’s and this where the story starts.

The movie is very life-like. It’s about commerce (trying to sell drug to doctors who can be bought by gifts and schmoozing), ambition and ultimately love. Aren’t those things what life is all about? You have ambition to basically set a name for yourself. This ambition will lead you to make good money, fall in love and raise a family. This is where the life-like approach comes from.

Each one of the main characters of this movie has their own journey. Jamie’s path is to grow out of the careless womanizer that he is into a man. And Maggie’s growth revolves around trust in people, to let go of her own secure but fragile little world and let go.ย  Jake Gyllenhaal is heartfelt, engaging in his portrayal of Jamie. He draws you in and makes the character very likable. But the true star here is Anne Hathaway.

Anne Hathaway has very much grown since her The Princess Diaries days. And if the first hour of movie, which is basically sex, is not convincing enough, she blows you away (no pun intended) with the emotions she gets across in the second half. It’s not hard (again no pun intended) to like her in any movie that she does, be it the drug addict in Rachel Getting Married or as the sick woman in this one. Her embodiment of a Parkinson’s patient is very good. The tremors she makes, the way she lives the disease… it is all done with the right touch of credibility. And this is coming from a person who has lived firsthand with someone with Parkinson’s. The struggle to get the drugs, the disappointment when she discovers she forgot to refill her prescription… you live the movie and the character through Maggie’s eyes, predicting what she’ll do next: will she open up to Jamie or will she remain secluded? Will she let herself truly live or will she just keep in going by? It’s a multi-layered character, delivered brilliantly. And I’m not ashamed to say I prefer this performance over Annette Bening’s performance in The Kids Are All Right.

There’s one particular scene involving a vodka bottle that is very haunting. You can’t but feel sorry for her character at that point.

Some say that the nudity is unnecessary, especially with the amount it is in this movie. I disagree. The sex scenes in this movie are the vehicle by which these two characters communicate and get to know each other. Relationships usually start the other way around. This is not the case here. Instead of having their minds do the talking, their bodies do.

Moreover, you feel at times that the plot can be taken to an extra level. Sometimes, it feels as if the script could have used an extra draft to make this movie into one that could have actually been a very strong contender at this year’s award season. Some scenes are dispensable and very Hollywood-like cliche, in a movie that is not very cliche. An extra revision would have probably tied those scenes up and delivered a truly great movie.

To finish this up, I prefer Love And Other Drugs over all the otherย  movies in the Motion Picture – Comedy nomination at the Golden Globes. It’s not for all tastes. But I loved it.

11 thoughts on “Love And Other Drugs – Review

  1. I honestly found the movie boring and a bit silly (and I’m not against the sex scenes, especially when they serve the story). Unlike Hollywood, I wouldn’t call this movie a comedy, more a dramedy, but then again, Hollywood needs to label a movie before giving it noms. I mean The Tourist, a comedy? Who are we kidding?!!
    I agree with you on Hathaway’s potential in the movie. She really stuns, without being over-the-top, even when it comes to heart-wrenching scenes.
    But what I especially love about your review, is that it makes me see the movie in a different perspective!

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    • I agree about the classification! I mean even The Kids Are All Right is not a comedy! And The Toursit? seriously? I would nominate Easy A in that category and make it win! That’s the best comedy of the year! Yeah, this is more a dramedy.
      And thank you for liking the review ๐Ÿ™‚ Still waiting for your input on Rabbit Hole.

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    • It is a great movie! But yeah, this year has been pretty tough! Last year, people couldn’t come up with ten movies to nominate. But I still don’t understand all the hate against this one :p

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      • the performance of Hathaway is very good – Gyllenhaal almost as good!
        but the plot is weak- you know, boy meets girl, girl is sick, boy does something stupid then suddenly realizes his ultimate love for her and asks for forgiveness! ๐Ÿ˜›
        Some people didn’t really like the script and all the sex in it!

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        • I wouldn’t say the plot is weak. It could use some revisions, of course, to – as I said – get rid of the cliche moments. But it’s not a very cliche movie, especially since it tackles a disease that’s not as “cool” as say, cancer or HIV or something.

          I’ve lived with a person with Parkinson’s and, when they don’t take their medications, they exhibit the same symptoms Hathaway did. I think that’s why I prefer her over Gyllenhaal. He’s great but she’s just fantastic.

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  2. Pingback: Source Code – Movie Review « A Separate State of Mind

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