21 February 2011

Movie Review: Love and Other Drugs

"Sometimes the thing that you most want, doesn't happen. And sometimes the thing you'd never expect, happens. Like giving up my job, and Chicago, and everything; and deciding to stay and apply to med school. I don't know... You meet thousands of people, and none of them really touch you. And then you meet one person... And your life is changed forever."

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a med rep for Pfizer, and he's good throwing bullshit at anyone -- and everyone buys it. He's smart, sexy, and makes women swoon over him. Here's the catch: he's heartless. And then there's Maggie Murdock (Anne Hathaway), an artist who's carefree and outgoing but always has her guard up -- which is probably because she has Parkinson's disease. The story revolves around the two characters who got together because of something they have in common: they both love sex.
Eventually, Jamie starts falling for Maggie, which is probably because she's the only one who's been able to reject him so far, but also probably because he's finally met his match. Pfizer then brings Viagra into the market, Jamie was picked to represent the drug, and his career just booms. Maggie, on the other hand, experiences worsening symptoms, which she and the audiences discover upon her attempt to cut up a Polaroid.

Jamie asks Maggie to accompany him to a conference, but she makes her way to a meeting of Parkinson's sufferers. His turn to accompany her, he meets a man who gives him the Don't get me wrong, I love my wife BUT... speech that spooks him out. Jamie then becomes obsessed with finding treatments for Maggie's disease, but Maggie gets tired of it. 

While Maggie loves him back, she decides its time for him to move out of her apartment on the issue that he can't be happy with someone who isn't healthy. Jamie, then, attends pajama parties and makes his way into a threesome instead of handling the responsibility of taking care of Maggie. Ultimately, he is faced with the dilemma between career and love, except that in this case, the path of love wouldn't be so perfect. 
I would say Love and Other Drugs is one of the better films I've had to watch recently: it's engaging, amusing and powerful. Also, it tackles "adult" issues which I'm sure, a lot of libido-loving fans would love.

The bad:
* The film was supposed to be a romantic-comedy. Instead, it leaned more on the romantic side. Hathaway, surprisingly successful at breast nudity, and Gyllenhal were naked 70% of the time and it makes good for soft porn. To add to that, the comedy side of the film was relied solely on Josh Randall (Josh Gad), Jamie's younger brother, whose script seemed forced and in the end, down right irritating.

* The movie lacked focus on some parts, maybe confused as to what it would like to put emphasis on: relationships or the pharmaceutical world. On the flip side, it doesn't confuse the audience that much and holds their attention for the majority of the film.

* While Randall is surrounded by supporting characters, Murdock is alone and on her own. She has no family, no friends, no background, no support. She just sprung out of nowhere, and made sweet-no-strings-attached love with Jamie.

* I guess my main issue with this movie is that it was close to being genuine, patterned closely to reality. For a while there, I was lying down, thinking that this has deviated from a clean cut ending everyone was expecting for. I was wrong. In the end, it was just swallowed up by the cliches that the romantic-comedy film world has to offer.
The good:
* The relationships in the story formed naturally. Just as the characters grew with each other, they took the audience in, allowing them to grow as well.

* Gyllenhal and Hathaway have great on-screen chemistry. With Anne's piercing good looks and Jake's charm, they are a delight to watch. They have revolved themselves around their characters so much that it wasn't acting anymore. I think what was important was that they were able to make the audience believe that everything happening in the film was really happening. 

* Although I accidentally pointed out more bad than good, my attention throughout the film was maxed out. I enjoyed it and I loved it, just as I thought I was going to.

To wrap things up, I'd say the trailer has once again built the hype for moviegoers, but I'm not sure the film delivered. My best advice is to take the movie as it is and enjoy it without question. Four stars.

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