Love & Other Drugs (2010) Poster

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More complex than the trailer suggested, more enjoyable than the poster suggested
peter kobryn1 January 2011
This film surprised me in a good way.

From the trailer and the posters to be found in many of the bus shelters of our town it would have been fair to have expected a routine rom-com. The pose struck by the leads Jake Gylenhall & Anne Hathaway on that poster just screamed "knock about rom-com,just like hundreds of others" It isn't though and that was a pleasant and engaging surprise.

Jake Gylenhall pulls off the role of super bright but super slacker son Jamie in a high achieving family well and is convincing as a magnetising presence that women find irresistible.

The absence of Anne Hathaway's character Maggie in the first segment of the film is the first suggestion that this will not be a routine paint by numbers romance and Maggie's introduction sets the scene for the complex character she successfully portrays.

This film covers a lot of ground and both of the leads are engaging and believable.

Issues such as serious illness, the workings of the big pharmaceutical companies and their attempts to influence the decision making of medical professionals, the struggle people have to pay for treatment and a believably complex love story are woven in without significant signposting or obvious plot twists.

Once again, the two lead actors were excellent and overall this made for an enjoyable and engaging film
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Expected what I saw in the trailer and got more
hyprsleepy9 December 2010
Despite what some may say, Love and Other Drugs wasn't like other romantic comedies I've seen except in the most general of senses, in that it was a romantic comedy. I hadn't seen one set in the environment of pharmaceutical sales or with a main character who had Parkinsons disease, a setting which is very interesting as there are a lot of things wrong with health care and the system today. It gives one something to chew on while watching the rest of the movie.

There's a lot to like about the relationship between Jamie and Maggie. They have a raw intensity and passion for each other that was a bit much for some viewers, but in my opinion it was there to show how connected they were both physically and mentally. I thought their banter and teasing nature was cute. Nobody got wounded or sulked when teased but just laughed and teased back. The initial attraction between them started as an understanding of each other's loneliness and vulnerability that allowed them to feel like someone else finally got them after easily charming others with nothing more than a fascade. Their relationship had passion, love, and a roller-coaster of emotions.

There was a scene midway through the movie where Maggie tells Jamie that even though she may have many other moments like the ones that she shared with him that it will never be as special or mean as much to her and my heart wanted to swell because I knew exactly what she meant and what it is like to love someone that much.

As they grew together, both characters changed and let go of their issues with commitment and love. They tore down the walls they'd built to protect themselves and just let themselves fall. It was beautiful to me and I really enjoyed Love & Other Drugs.
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Slow Start, Great Finish... Anne Hathaway is Wonderful
sacflyzone8 December 2010
The movie starts out as a generic and even pedestrian romantic comedy and appears to be headed in the typical cliché driven direction but, fortunately, evolves in to something more. Jake Gyllenhaal's character and his alleged "funny" fat side kick are established almost purposefully as illustrations of what's wrong with most romantic comedies. It's Anne Hathaway's character that is the catalyst for the transformation from two dimensional rom-com to something deeper and more enjoyable. As she is fleshed out (pun intended because the more Anne Hathaway nudity the better) her character forces both Gyllenhaal's character and the film itself to grow (almost Viagra like). What follows is a deep, sometimes moving and genuinely interesting film. Commentary about battling illness, life and enjoying the moment are all relevant and poignant. Even supporting characters are given moments to shine. Oliver Pratt's drug rep has a wonderful scene delivered over dinner and there's even a smart drunken ramble explaining what is wrong with being a doctor and a commentary on the state of the Hippocratic Oath. From an emotionless and even tedious start, this film surprised me and is worth the price of a ticket.
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Portrayal of degenerative disease SPOT-ON
carlabag2 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Like Maggie, I was diagnosed with a degenerative, neurological illness (with no cure or treatment) in my early 30s, and also met my husband around that time. Hathaway's acting (and the script) captures with devastating accuracy the emotions one goes through when confronting a degenerative illness at an early age, particularly when falling in love (i.e. trying to push someone away/set them free before you become a burden on them; stubbornly seeking independence/avoiding vulnerability, though in real life, you really do need someone to love and take care of you; wanting to avoid the grief inherent in your diagnosis, and particularly, wanting to avoid pulling someone ELSE into that grief; going out and seeking support groups, and feeling empowered by this; getting angry at your partner's refusal to accept what is; etc. etc.)

I agree that portions of this movie were VERY Hollywood and over the top,and also that it was trying to be everything for everyone (love story,guy's flick, corporate commentary, light-hearted comedy, melodrama,etc.) Regardless of any criticisms, though, I was sobbing like a baby during the last third of the movie. It was just too real, too familiar,too spot-on, and I know that unless people have walked in similar shoes, they wouldn't be able to fully grasp the depth and grief of what was unfolding on screen. In a way, I'm grateful for all the fluff and comedy, because I wouldn't have been able to get through the movie otherwise.

So I say, overall, this movie was incredible due to its sensitive and accurate portrayal of Maggie's illness, and all of its emotional ramifications. Good job.
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not the average romantic comedy ( and thats a good thing)
mooviefan-891-87957425 January 2011
This is one of those movies that have a weird marketing campaign, the studio wants to sell it like a romantic comedy when its more like a drama with complex and real characters. Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyleenhaal have good chemistry on screen and secondary characters help to bring equilibrium to a movie that other way could turn to be a little depressing. I also think that this movie doesn't deserve the R rating just because it deals with sex ( I live in Mexico and here we have something like PG-15)hopefully people don't feel to uncomfortable with the sex scene because it gives more credibility to the story.In the end the film works better than others of its genre and its worth a look ( probably not for a first date) but if you are already on a relationship it will give you something to think and talk about.
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Good chemistry is the best drug for any standard romance
Movie_Muse_Reviews25 November 2010
Love stories are essentially the same -- it's a matter of how you dress them up. Many will see through "Love and Other Drugs" and count the romance clichés and formulaic characters, others will find the 1996 setting and the pharmaceutical angle refreshing. Both forces are hard at work in this film, but the tipping point goes in favor thanks to the leads, Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway. There's a reason most romantic films are judged based on the chemistry of their lead actors. When it comes to romance, it's not about how cleverly written the two characters are and how unique and special they feel to us. What counts is whether they can convince you of their attraction/love and get you to -- without blunt coercion -- invest in what happens to them. Gyllenhaal and Hathaway have what it takes to do just that in spite of a script that sometimes tries to lean too hard on conventional tactics of boys meets girl. Gyllenhaal plays Jamie, an expert salesman who lands a gig as a pharmaceutical sales rep for Pfizer, right before Viagra hit the market. He's also adept at landing any woman he desires. He epitomizes a Don Juan and he's plays the type well, but when you can predict that he'll end up in bed with the next attractive woman that shows up on screen, the writing has taken it a bit far. As good of a filmmaker as Edward Zwick is, his best credits include "Glory," "The Last Samurai" and "The Blood Diamond" -- not exactly romance. He co-wrote the script (based on Jamie Reidy's memoir) with longtime collaborator Marshall Herskovitz and thriller writer Charles Randolph ("The Interpreter"), so no real romantic comedy prowess exists among them, hence the tendency to stick with genre conventions. One such convention is Jamie's brother (Josh Gad), who plays the little brother crashing on Jamie's couch who has a porn addiction and makes clueless statements, usually to the tune of no laughs, but he does help break the tension. Enter girl. Jamie meets Maggie, a bit of a free-spirited cynic who (in a unique twist) has way early onset Parkinson's. Many will be quick to jump on the "diseased girl" archetype, but don't judge Hathaway's prowess that quickly. As completely pathetic as Maggie's self-esteem might be and how strictly anti-commitment she is, when her character caves in to the romance as they all do, Hathaway gives Maggie a believable fragility rather than a melodramatic tone. Jamie's motives for wanting to spend more time with Maggie and not simply continuing his streak of banging all who possess lady parts are reduced to the reason of "she's playing hard to get," which is not the best of reasons. The same can be said about Maggie constantly accusing Jamie of having pity sex with the diseased girl. However, watching these two charm each other and overcome the cliché has a definite appeal. The two spend a lot of naked time together, making "Love and Other Drugs" the best date movie this holiday season. But on a serious note, the drug angle and the "recent past" setting give us something else to chew on, which is nice. Zwick never truly marries that story line with the romance except "Jamie sells drugs and Maggie has a disease that lacks an effective one." The thematic ties are not quite there despite the plot coincidences and the fitting title. "Love and Other Drugs" is hardly the cure for the common romantic comedy, but the consistent dosage of its two stars by and large pushes away those symptoms. ~Steven C
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A movie that feels like a very long trailer
SaMoFilmGuy7 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
A disjointed series of scenes, some quite funny; none, not one, poignant – and that in a story about a Parkinson's sufferer. It feels like TV: things happen because they have to happen at a certain time, not because the characters have put them into motion. Thus, Jake must meet Anne, learn about her disease, face her doubt about him, deal with her leaving him, go to rescue her – all this because that's what the story should do. But the scenes between the two of them are just like a well-acted acting class-type escapades, with Jake very good and Anne always a little over the top. They, the scenes, don't add up to anything satisfying.

Zwick can't quite get the feature thing down. All his movies lack a real resonance; they don't hold together as a whole. You don't feel you've seen a real story because he understands writing and directing scenes but he does not understand that plotting is an emotional thread that builds into something more than just the addition of one beat on another. He simply cannot develop a satisfying feature script. His movies are like watching a very long trailer.
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Tired, old manipulative plot
famdoc-319 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Hard-partying, emotionally-detached man meets sensitive, artist woman with fatal disease. They fall in love. They fall out of love. Will man come to his senses? Will woman allow herself to feel love despite downhill course of disease? Will the sappy music ever stop? Will we keep watching this dreck? Will attractive people getting undressed and having sex keep our attention? You know all the answers to these questions, as this film is just a rehash of dozens that came before it.

The film raises, without subtlety, some questions society needs to confront: the role of the pharmaceutical industry in the medical-industrial complex, how we treat people with incurable diseases, how people with incurable diseases search for cures and what to wear to a pajama party.

Perhaps I should give this film more credit for avoiding flatulence, it nevertheless gives us a few laughs on the subject of erectile dysfunction and its cures, masturbation, three-way sex and internet porn. So original.
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The cardinal rule of a romantic comedy is broken: you don't care whether they end up together or not
Likes_Ninjas9030 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Ladies man Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a super smooth talker working in an appliance store. When he is fired for having sex with a co-worker he is pressured to find a new profession. His brother, a lazy overweight computer geek, has already made a fortune selling computer software to pharmaceutical companies. As such, Jamie uses his charming persona to become a sales representative for a drug company, working to sell drugs to local doctors and GP's. It's a cutthroat business, but he still manages to work his way around people. He meets his match when he meets Maggie (Anne Hathaway), a slightly neurotic artist who initially holds him in contempt but then grows to appreciate his fleeting nature. She is only interested in casual sex but slowly Jaime becomes more attached and more concerned about her wellbeing.

Love and Other Drugs was adapted from the book "Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman" by director Edward Zwick. With Marshall Herskovitz and Charles Randolph, he also wrote the screenplay too. It seems like an oddity for Zwick who has mostly specialised in action films like The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond and Defiance. His lack of familiarity with the romantic comedy genre is most evident with the jarring changes of tone of this film. It starts off as a quirky comedy but there's also a distinct lack of wit in the screenplay. Jamie's supposed charm and suave is so overdone and phoney that is difficult to believe that any of the women in the film could fall for it. Annoyingly, they do repeatedly. The intrusion of Jamie's overweight brother, the typical fat character employed for comic relief, is a superfluous addition too that adds little to the narrative. In the second half, the film is nearly two hours, the story attempts to change gears to become a medical melodrama, as Maggie's illness deteriorates. At this point the film seems to becoming more thoughtful and smarter than the typical Hollywood romantic comedy since Jaime has to find a balance between his work and looking after her. However, it's undone by an extremely safe and predictable conclusion, complete with the kind of mawkish speech that only a romantic comedy could provide.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway have worked previously together in the film Brokeback Mountain. Gyllenhaal though is an unusual choice for what this particular role demands. He seems miscast because his smoothness and supposed suave is so artificial. He overplays it entirely in the opening scene. His choice of stealing drugs from rival companies seems like an incredibly unlikely practice. After he transforms into the typical nice guy in the latter portion of the film his character becomes bland, rather than sincere. This is more the fault of the screenplay as the inner life of his character is particular uninteresting. The only particularly memorable aspect about his character is that he never managed to finish medical school. Hathaway is rather spiteful as Maggie, not always likable in the way that she treats Jamie, particular in the second act. The women in the film generally do not come off well here as they are either gullible or in Maggie's case, plain irrational. Notably, the love scenes shared between Jamie and Maggie are more frank than most mainstream comedies. It's just unfortunate that the film is a lot less interesting when the characters have their clothes on. Ultimately, the cardinal rule of a romantic comedy is broken: you don't care whether they end up together or not.
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