Movie Review: Love and Other Drugs
Release Date: November 24th
Rated 14A for coarse language, sexual content and nudity
Running time: 111 minutes
Edward Zwick (dir.)
Charles Randolph (screenplay)
Edward Zwick (screenplay)
Marshall Herskovitz (screenplay)
Based on the book Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman by Jamie Reidy
James Newton Howard (music)
Jake Gyllenhaal as Jamie Randall
Anne Hathaway as Maggie Murdock
Oliver Platt as Bruce Winston
Hank Azaria as Dr. Stan Knight
Josh Gad as Josh Randall
Gabriel Macht as Trey Hannigan
George Segal as Dr. James Randall
Jill Clayburgh as Nancy Randall
©20th Century Fox. All Rights Reserved.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway in Love and Other Drugs
Our reviews below:
Love and Other Drugs Review By John C.
*** (out of 4)
After being fired from his job at an electronics store due to a quick hookup in the back room, Jamie Rendall (Jake Gyllenhaal) becomes a drug rep for Pfizer. Working for the nasty and cynical Bruce Winston (Oliver Platt), Jamie charms his way into the majority of doctors offices. But faster than he can sleep with the next secretary, he is in charge of handling a new drug called Viagra, and with it the ensuing revolution.
Then he meets Maggie Murdoch (Anne Hathaway), a young woman suffering from stage 1 Parkinson’s disease. She fears commitment as much as he does, but this appealing free spirit may be the only one who can bring out the caring side of Jamie. They bond through casual sex, but their relationship is headed in the direction of something much deeper. Their relationship develops in a believable way, leading to some of the best scenes in the movie.
Jake Gyllenhaal is charming and charismatic and Anne Hathaway gives a heartbreaking performance as she brilliantly portrays the early stages of Parkinson’s. They both shine in some of their best work since they were last together in Brokeback Mountain. The sex scenes between them are moderately graphic, but are mostly done tastefully and rarely leave us feeling voyeuristic.
There are moments when the film does rely too heavily on typical rom-com setups, but the biggest problem is that Jamie has a misfit brother, Josh (Josh Gad). I didn’t buy them as blood relatives – they would have been more believable as roommates. One off-colour scene in particular where Josh masturbates to a sex tape that Jamie had made several scenes earlier, should have been left on the cutting room floor.
Although not without its flaws, Love and Other Drugs is smarter and sexier than the average rom-com, and in the end is also surprisingly touching (no pun intended). This is a satisfying, feel-good dramedy for mature audiences, and I enjoyed taking the trip that this drug has to offer.
Love and Other Drugs Review By Erin V.
***1/2 (out of 4)
In Love & Other Drugs, Jake Gyllanhaal plays Jamie, a pharmaceutical sales rep who thrives on shallow relationships, afraid to become too connected. Then, he meets Maggie (Anne Hathaway), who appears to feel the same way. But as they delve deeper into what quickly is turning into an actual relationship, they both have to confront their own fears and feelings about themselves, each other, and what life gives them.
The acting is really strong here and the story is well told. There are some scenes in the film though that felt out of place – mainly a few of the played for comedy moments. The trailer doesn’t really show the film’s stronger side in my book – the more dramatic side of the film and the caring relationship between Jaime and Maggie.
Parts of this film are quite rude – as to be expected judging by the poster and the fact that Jaime is assigned to sell Viagra by the drug company. If you don’t mind the strong 14A rating, I would count this one as worth seeing – even if you opt to wait for the DVD.
Love and Other Drugs Review By Nicole
*** (out of 4)
Very loosely based on the nonfiction book Hard Sell by Jamie Reidy, Love and Other Drugs is a fictionalized romantic comedy about the pharmaceutical industry. The film begins in 1996. Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal) a salesman working in an electronics store, is fired after having flings with the female employees. Jamie decides to work at drug company Pfizer, at the suggestion of his family.
On an assignment to sell Pfizer meds, Jamie meets Maggie (Anne Hathaway), a pretty young woman whom he fancies. Maggie has early onset Parkinson’s disease, but this doesn’t deter Jamie from going out with her. At first, Maggie is just another one of his many affairs. But over time, Jamie begins to fall in love with Maggie, who, despite her challenges, stands up for herself.
When I first heard about Love and Other Drugs, I assumed it would just be another raunchy comedy. This is raunchy alright, but I liked the fact that the film brings up the issue of dating a person with a disability in a sensitive and thought provoking way. Maggie is never portrayed as a victim, but as a person who just wants someone to love.
Love and Other Drugs has good acting, an engaging story and is a lot of fun. This is an intelligent film that is worth checking out.
Love and Other Drugs Review By Maureen
***1/2 (out of 4)
On the surface, Love and Other Drugs is solely about pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s incredible rise to success with wonder drug, Viagra. While the movie does provide a good look at the questionable marketing tactics of pharmaceutical companies the focus of the movie is on one drug rep, Jamie Rendall (Jake Gyllenhaal). Loosely based on Jamie Reidy’s autobiography, Hard Sell, the movie takes a closer look at the drive drug reps have to get their brands into doctor’s offices as the preferred prescription choice.
Jamie Rendall is portrayed as a hard-selling, womanizing success-driven drug rep. The movie finds its heart when Jamie meets Maggie (Anne Hathaway), a patient of one of the doctors Jamie is trying to win over as a client. Maggie is only interested in casual sex as is Jamie. Over time the pair develop feelings for one another. Maggie is reluctant to get emotionally close to anyone as she has early-onset Parkinson’s and an uncertain future.
The Parkinson’s storyline is the heart of Love and Other Drugs. It never slips into melodrama but shows the reality of dealing with a condition that at this point worsens over time. The most touching segment in the movie is an alternative conference Maggie happens upon. The participants all either have Parkinson’s or care for someone who does. It raises the question, do pharmaceutical companies even listen to those who use their products?
With a mix of humour, heartfelt drama, lots of tasteful nudity and excellent acting by the two leads, Love and Other Drugs is an insightful and entertaining movie. You’ll never look at those anonymous blue-pill junk emails the same way again.
Love and Other Drugs Review By Tony
*** (out of 4)
Love and Other Drugs is loosely based on Jamie Reidy’s book “Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman.” It is the mid-1990s. Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a brilliant underachieving electronics store salesman who charms everyone he meets and seduces as many as he can, much to the disappointment of his physician parents (cameos by George Segal and the late Jill Clayburgh). When a back room shag gets him fired, he lands a rep position at Pfizer mentored by the cynical veteran Bruce (Oliver Platt). Jamie fits right into the sleazy hype of big pharma, trying to move the influential Dr. Knight (Hank Azaria) away from his competition at E.I.Lilly, no contest once Pfizer comes up (no pun intended) with Viagra. Meeting Maggie Murdock, one of Knight’s patients with early onset Parkinson’s disease, Jamie finds a great love match who given her prognosis fears commitment as much as he does, at least at first.
Love and Other Drugs succeeds mainly due to the charm and chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Hathaway, raising their steamy (though discreetly shot) amorous scenes above the soft core level into credibility. Problems with the U.S. health care system and huge business of drug promotion are well dramatized, contrasted with the grass roots alternative movement depicted in one of the most moving scenes, where real people living with Parkinson’s share their experiences with a support group. The only thing I found didn’t quite work was Jamie’s brother, a social misfit played by Josh Gad (imagine Jonah Hill or Clark Duke without the charm or good looks).
Consensus: Although not without some flaws, Love and Other Drugs has strong performances and a touching story, making it a satisfying dramedy for mature audiences. ***1/4 (Out of 4)