Saturday, 15 January 2011

Love and Other Drugs Film Review

Heard good things about this movie (quite a few award nominations) and having seen the trailer, thought it would be some really deep and meaningful love story, a bit like the film "Love Story" with the somewhat melodramatic illness factor, but it turned out slightly more cheerful than daunting- also love both Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway so this wasn't one to miss.

Upon entering the pharmaceutical sales industry, womaniser Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal) meets patient Maggie Murdock (Anne Hathaway) whilst shadowing Dr Knight (Hank Azaria, who was also in Friends). After some casual encounters, Jamie realises he might be falling for Maggie, despite her making it clear she does not want a relationship due to her early Parkinson's.

When Jamie hits big selling Viagra, Maggie pushes him away to prevent herself being a hindrance to his future. Jamie must make a choice- will he fight for Maggie and sacrifice his future or achieve his dream of being successful?

I thought the beginning was a bit dull up to the point Jamie meets Maggie- once we got to that part the pace picked up and it was a lot more interesting. I liked the chase as the script was quite funny and both characters showed a lot of guts. 

The first thing to immediately notice is the amount of sex and nudity in this film, which was what it was probably advertised as and what the media grabbed onto the most. Personally, I did feel that this nudity was perhaps a bit excessive, but in a way works due to the context of the film.

There are aspects of the film I find too cheesy- Jamie's brother is too annoying and I absolutely hate this character. He is not at all funny and just makes everything cringe. How I wish he wasn't in the movie! The "Slumber party" scene was also too "The Social Network" for me and I didn't particularly like that part.

Stripping away [no pun intended] all the nudity and sex, there is a true love story here, and one that is shown through sacrifice and selflessness. I did think that there would be more of a melodramatic and sad end/climax where Maggie may be terminally ill and Jamie fights for her or something- perhaps I was misled by the trailer. 

Maggie's condition I guess is a "hindrance" to Jamie and perhaps the only thing standing in their way- this disease making her push people away so she doesn't get too attached and become heartbroken. The film therefore has to lead the plot to them resolving this issue and the ending therefore has a somewhat typical romcom ending. It is sweet and a bit sad, but not what I was really expecting- I thought it would be gushier than it was.

Jake Gyllenhaal- Jamie Randall
Anne Hathaway- Maggie Murdock

Also stars Hank Azaria, Josh Gad, Oliver Platt and George Segal.

Whilst initially, it was quite difficult to believe that a womaniser would just settle down for this one woman on a chance encounter, having Jake Gyllenhaal play this male lead, it is instead very difficult that Jake could be a womaniser at all- he seems the one gal family man type of guy. In this way, he was definitely the more clingy one of the pair and the casting worked.

Anne Hathaway looked stunning and her naturally white complexion helps her to look ill. I felt her acting was better compared to Jake's, given she had more of a character but her dramatic changes from funny to angry and moody would've been challenging, but she pulled it off.

The film wasn't as good as I'd expected, but underneath all the nudity and sex, there was SOMETHING there. I felt they could have taken the illness further to heighten the sense of tragedy and sacrificial love, but I guess Hollywood wants a happy ending. Both Gyllenhaal and Hathaway do a great job as the leads, looking beautiful as always. This film is not for everyone.

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