Love & Other Drugs

"Excellent"

Love & Other Drugs Review


This engaging film blends a true story with fiction, morphing from a rom-com into a moving drama as it goes along. In addition, it's a sharply well-aimed jab at the pharmaceutical world. Although it also has a tendency to be cute and fluffy, even when the plot turns serious.

In 1996, Jamie (Gyllenhaal) has discovered his gift as a salesman, mainly peddling his own charms to every young woman he meets. In need of a higher-paying job, he trains as a Pfizer pharmaceutical rep in the Ohio River Valley. It takes awhile to learn the ropes, and sales are tough due to a fierce rival (Macht). But when Pfizer introduces Viagra, his numbers improve dramatically, to say the least. Meanwhile, he meets Maggie (Hathaway), a feisty young woman with early-stage Parkinson's who challenges his view of himself.

The filmmakers take a refreshingly sideways approach to this story, drawing on the ignored adult-romance genre (think Jerry Maguire or Sleepless in Seattle) while gleefully twisting stereotypes and cliches. The characters are utterly believable in each situation, whether playing for laughs or tears. Most notably, Jamie and Maggie's sexual encounters are realistically lusty, never watered down like Hollywood films that pander to vain/shy actors.

Although the mixture of all of this sex, comedy and drama is a little awkward, the actors bridge the gaps effortlessly. Gyllenhaal and Hathaway offer full-on performances that are complex and a little rough around the edges. Their relationship is so engaging that we barely notice the film's frequent tonal shifts or the overlong running time. Meanwhile, they are ably supported by a terrific cast of scene-stealers, with Azaria and Platt as comical sidekicks who are genuinely amusing, and Gad as one who isn't.

While this a razor-sharp comment on the high-stakes commercialisation of prescription medicine, it's the script's introspective approach to its characters that makes it so involving. It isn't nearly as deep and meaningful as it tries to be, but director Zwick keeps everything firmly grounded on the people. And it's great to see him return to the intimate, warm, engaging comedy he and Herskovitz pioneered with their 1980s TV series Thirtysomething.



Love & Other Drugs

Facts and Figures

Genre: Romance

Run time: 112 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 24th November 2010

Box Office USA: $32.4M

Box Office Worldwide: $102.3M

Budget: $30M

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: Fox 2000 Pictures, Regency Enterprises, New Regency Pictures, Stuber Productions, Bedford Falls Productions, Dune Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 49%
Fresh: 78 Rotten: 81

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Jamie Reidy, as Maggie Murdock, as Bruce Winston, as Dr. Stan Knight, as Trey Hannigan, as Cindy, as James Randall, as Nancy Randall, Kate Jennings Grant as Gina, as Lisa, as Gail, as California Man, Nikki DeLoach as Christy, as Dr. Helen Randall, as Josh Randall, Ian Novick as Pfizer Trainee #3


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Sinister 2 Movie Review

Sinister 2 Movie Review

As the ghoul from the 2012 horror hit stalks a new family, this sequel's sharply...

Paper Towns Movie Review

Paper Towns Movie Review

After setting the scene with vivid characters and some insightful interaction, the plot of this...

Vacation Movie Review

Vacation Movie Review

Both the characters and the tone have been updated as a new generation of Grizwolds...

Trainwreck Movie Review

Trainwreck Movie Review

Amy Schumer makes her big screen debut with a script that feels like a much-extended...

Advertisement
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review

Adopting a deliciously groovy vibe, Guy Ritchie turns the iconic 1960s TV spy series into...

Absolutely Anything Movie Review

Absolutely Anything Movie Review

Simon Pegg continues his rollercoaster career, alternating between superior blockbuster franchises (Mission: Impossible and Star...

Fantastic Four Movie Review

Fantastic Four Movie Review

Until the special effects take over in the final act, this is an unusually gritty,...

The Gift Movie Review

The Gift Movie Review

Marketed as a horror-thriller, this sharply well-made film is actually a bleak drama with a...

Advertisement