Movie Review: Love and Other Drugs

Love and Other Drugs *** ½
Directed By:
Edward Zwick.
Written By: Charles Randolph & Edward Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz based on the book by Jamie Reidy.
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal (Jamie Randall), Anne Hathaway (Maggie Murdock), Oliver Platt (Bruce Winston), Hank Azaria (Dr. Stan Knight), Josh Gad (Josh Randall), Gabriel Macht (Trey Hannigan), Judy Greer (Cindy), George Segal (Dr. James Randall), Jill Clayburgh (Nancy Randall), Kate Jennings Grant (Gina), Katheryn Winnick ('Lisa'), Kimberly Scott (Gail).

Sometimes a director needs to step out of their comfort zone to do some of their best work. Such is the case with Edward Zwick and his latest film Love and Other Drugs. While the film is certainly flawed, when the film works, and most of it does, it is the type of intelligent, warm and funny romantic comedy we don’t see much anymore. Most of Zwick’s films are burdened by their own importance – whether it be his WWII film Defiance, his African set Blood Diamond, his Japanese set The Last Samurai, or his terrorism drama The Siege, his films often try too hard to be seen as “important” to really work as well as they should. In Love and Other Drugs, Zwick’s directorial style is much more relaxed – he doesn’t force anything, he just lets it play out naturally. Yes, there are elements of the film that don’t work as well as perhaps they should – but the center of the film works like a dream.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays Jamie Randall, the “black sheep” of his family of medical professionals. His father was a doctor, and now teaches medicine. His sister is a doctor. His brother Josh (Josh Gad) invented a medical software company that he sold and became an instant millionaire at a young age. But when we meet Jamie, he is selling stereo equipment. He is a good salesman – effortless and charming – and his brother gets him a job at Pfizer as a medicine salesman. Essentially his job is to go around to doctors and get them to prescribe Pfizer’s drug instead of his competitions. He struggles a bit when he tries to convince doctors to prescribe Zoloft instead of Prozac – but when Pfizer introduces viagra cialis online pharmacy pharmacy he becomes a rock star salesman. Of course, Viagra pretty much sells itself, doesn’t it?

This view of the medical profession is interesting in its own right, but not enough to sustain a movie – especially since I cannot quite tell if Zwick and company think that what Jamie is doing is right or wrong. Yes, he is helping people get on medication they need – but shouldn’t doctors be prescribing patients drugs on the basis of their needs, instead of what drug reps tell them?

But luckily, this is only part of the movie – the less interesting part. What drives the movie is the relationship that Jamie develops with Maggie (Anne Hathaway). He first meets Maggie while on rounds with a doctor (Hank Azaria), where he is posing as an “intern” to try and get close to the doctor. She discovers his secret – and is pissed (she had removed her top in the exam room), but gradually he wins her over. She has early onset Parkinson’s disease and has done a good job at keeping everyone away from her – she forms no emotionally attachments, because they are too painful. Jamie is the same way, so they bond quickly over sex. It’s only gradually that emotions, and love, start to form between them – much to the chagrin of both of them.

This part of the movie – and it does represent most of the movie – is what works so well about the film. True, to a certain extent, Jamie’s “journey” in the film is similar to many men in recent romantic comedies – immature guy meets the girl of his dreams and grows up – but it feels natural in this movie. Gyllenhaal is a naturally charming actor, and he does the salesman part of his role extremely well, and he navigates the emotionally part with humor and warmth as well. But it is Hathaway who pretty much steals the movie. She is brilliant in it – funny, sweet, kind, intelligent, yet with a nasty streak in her as well, which she grows frustrated about her disease. This isn’t the typical saintly sick person we see in the movie – her Parkinson’s is early enough that it hardly feels like a sick person role at all – and Hathaway delivers one of her best performances.

Love and Other Drugs at times ventures too far into sitcom territory – usually when Jamie’s brother is involved. Josh Gad is amusing and at times quite funny in his role – but it is better suited in a sitcom than a feature film like this. At times, he almost seems to derail the movie with his role. There are a few other moments like that, which perhaps shows Zwick’s rust when doing material like this, since he has spent so long on those “important” dramas. But they are minor flaws, not fatal ones.

Love and Other Drugs is the type of romantic comedy-drama that we rarely see anymore. It is do with humor, warmth and intelligence, and in its two leads, Hathaway in particular; they have found two great characters whose relationship feels genuine. There are flaws in the film sure – but I wouldn’t write the movie, which for so much of its running time works so well, because of them. Love and Other Drugs is funny, sweet, sad and intelligent. How many other movies can you say that about?

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Basic information on Cialis

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Everyone who takes Cialis may not experience the side effects. Having undergone extensive clinical trials, it was proven that Cialis side effects occurred in less than 2% of the people.

If you want to enjoy spontaneous sex and are looking for a pill that keeps working for a long time in your body, Cialis can definitely be the right option for you.

Thinking About Gilligan's Island
See also: cheap cialis | 

I just saw a rerun of Gilligan's Island.  Hillarious show!!!   I used to watch it all the time.  I bet I have seen every episode at least 2 or 3 times. 

Anyway, watching this episode kind of got me to thinking about the show.  Since I am older now, my mind has developed and I am starting to think "Outside the Box", you know, thinking things I didn't think when I first watched Gilligan's Island as a young innocent boy. 

So, I started thinking about the people on the island and how they had to go 3 or 4 years on the island, living in isolation. My adult brain started thinking "How could these people go that long on the island without having sex?"  You can't tell me that 7 adults (4 men, 3 women) can spend that long on a deserted island without fornicating at least a few times. Look at the cast of Big Brother or any of the numerous other reality shows on TV today -- They can't even seem to go a half-episode without doing The Dirty. You would think that Mary Ann's wholesome cuteness would guarantee at least two or three illegitimate island-babies. And Ginger, the seductress, had to have had the opportunity to fool around.

My guess is there was a little hanky-panky going on.  No normal adult could go that long without a little "fun".  So if they did, how come Mary Ann  or Ginger did not get pregnant (Mrs. Howell was obviously past menopause and I doubt Mr. Howell could do it since Viagara was not invented yet)?  What did they use for Birth Control?  They had to use something. No way you could go that long and be lucky enough to dodge the bullet that many times. 

So do you think that Ginger or Mary Ann brought along birth control pills for a three-hour tour? Or did the professor have to get creative and invent a "morning-after" pill using only bamboo stalks and coconut milk?  Lord knows that if anyone could do that, it would be him.

I don't know the answer to these questions, but you can bet that I'm gonna do my best, as a duty to you, my readers, to find out. I have been in touch with National Geographic and The Smithsonian in an attempt to raise money to conduct an archaeological dig on Gilligan's Island, to search for remnants of birth-control pill bottles, used condoms, etc. Thus far, I've managed to raise nothing but a few eyebrows (Jake, Coop and the operator at National Geographic...) and somewhere around 70 or 80 cents (USD). But I'm not giving up... Please contribute!!!  We must solve this historical query. 

Here's a few theories that I'm throwing around while I'm waiting to get some funding:

1. 5 castaways were homosexuals.  Obviously, Mr and Mrs. Howell were straight, OR WERE THEY?

2. The men were all straight, but couldn't bump uglies with the girls, 'cause they were all in that "Experimental phase" that chicks seem to go through. That would explain some of the uptightness displayed by the three guys on the show. 

3. The Planned Parenthood Employee Party Boat also wrecked on the island sometime late in the first season.

4. Every time someone was about to have sex, Gilligan would stumble into the picture and mess up the whole plan.

5. Mr. Howell spent the bulk of his acquired wealth having regular shipments of condoms flown in to the island. It wasn't until sometime in the late '80s that the cast realized that they should probably ask the Prophylactic Plane to give them a lift home.

6.  The guys all suffered from Erectile Dysfunction and there was no Viagara, viagra, etc. on the island to give them the extra "Boost" they needed. 

Anyone else got any other theories?  Let me know.


Thinking About Gilligan's Island


News from Shakes Manor
Liss: Mel Gibson's girlfriend is pregnant.

Iain: What a good Catholic he is!

Liss: Well, Catholics aren't supposed to use birth control and they obviously didn't.

Iain: Touché.

I have begun to suspect, Shakers, that being a moral scold and self-proclaimed paragon of virtue makes dudez totes horny. That shit works better than cheap cialis.


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