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With: Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Oliver Platt, Hank Azaria, Josh Gad, Gabriel Macht, Judy Greer, George Segal, Jill Clayburgh, Kate Jennings Grant, Katheryn Winnick, Kimberly Scott, Peter Friedman, Nikki Deloach, Natalie Gold
Written by: Charles Randolph, Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz, based on a book by Jamie Reidy
Directed by: Edward Zwick
MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content, nudity, pervasive language, and some drug material
Running Time: 112
Date: 11/04/2010

Love and Other Drugs (2010)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Dr. Feelgood

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Juggling this kind of romantic comedy, sentiment, serious issues, and real-life history is a job for a very graceful director like Ernst Lubitsch. Unfortunately, the heavy-handed director and co-writer Edward Zwick (Glory, Blood Diamond, Defiance) is about as far from that job description as is possible.

Serial seducer Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal) loses his job selling audio equipment after sleeping with the boss's girlfriend; he gets a job as a pharmaceutical rep for Pfizer and finds that his "way with the ladies" helps get his foot in the door. Unfortunately he meets Maggie Murdock (Anne Hathaway) and she steals his heart, despite the fact that she has stage one Parkinson's disease. With Viagara on the way and untold wealth to be made, can the shallow Jamie knuckle down and build a life with Maggie; and can Maggie trust that he won't run away when the going gets tough?

With Love and Other Drugs, he relies on many obvious romantic comedy staples, such as the goofy "best friend," and then flips over to some heartstring-plucking moments relating to Parkinson's disease. In-between, the movie tries to strike up some chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Hathaway, who played an unhappily married couple in Brokeback Mountain. It has its moments. Gyllenhaal never quite loses himself in his character, but Hathaway goes all the way. She gives a marvelously instinctive performance that brings her Maggie to life, even when the movie doesn't. Finally Zwick sprinkles in tons of sex and language on top of this already awkwardly balanced cocktail.

Fox's new Blu-Ray comes with a bonus digital copy of the movie. Extras include deleted scenes, interviews with Hathaway and Gyllenhaal, and other stuff, plus trailers.

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