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Monday, April 18, 2011

DVD Review: "Love and Other Drugs"

"You meet thousands of people and none of them really touch you. And then you meet one person and your life is changed forever."
It's one thing to have a romantic comedy that follows many of the same bland formulas used in other rom coms that came before it. But it's another to call yourself a rom com, create a whole bunch of unlikeable characters (including the leads), and try to glaze it over with a story that is both underdeveloped and thus equally shallow. That's just not cool. Such is the case in Love and Other Drugs.

Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal star as twenty-something lovers each trying to navigate their purely sexual relationship. Jamie (Gyllenhaal) is an an up-and-coming corporate shark playboy posing as a pharmaceutical sales rep. And Maggie (Hathaway) is a fly-by-night artist-type, who doesn't really have any clear direction but knows a straight path has never quite been her thing. She's terribly flighty, which makes her untrustworthy. She's hiding a crippling secret from those closest to her, and pushes away those who try to get close. This makes her not really the easiest person to watch onscreen, and certainly not the most interesting. At least, not how Hathaway chose to play her. Hathaway's bubbly personality exudes in the role but overshadows this other layer about her character, a far more interesting layer.

Gyllenhaal's Jamie is a punk. You know the type: one of those players who's allergic to commitment until a fellow female player gives him the middle finger. He's ruthless at his job, which he is still learning about. He doesn't really seem to care about anything but himself. He's a competitor. He must win at everything--he has to get the car, the girl, the job, etc. Who cares? No one. Because you know what? Whatever was interesting about his character was outshined by this creeping story layer that lurks in the shadows but is bathed in the mediocrity of the bigger--and much more ordinary--plot.

So the trailer and subsequent interviews with the actors during the press junket all focused on the level of nudity in the film. Yes, there is a lot of canoodling and fornication, that's for sure. But it's not for the sake of anything but nudity. It's laughable and serves no ultimate purpose. We'll just call that more smoke screens to hide the stale premise and better story that was robbed. Come on, Gyllenhaal, you can do better than this.

Rating: D


Anonymous said...

Great review! Hit the nail right on the head. The film has so much potential to be great and failed at every turn.

John Gilpatrick said...

I got about half way through this one and just fell asleep...didn't care enough to finish it. I guess that was a good decision.

Film Gurl said...

Yes, I agree. Interesting storyline, one we've all seen before. Though, it just didn't execute well. Maybe next time! :)

Custard said...

wowsers!! That sounds a shocker....This is me giving it a very wide berth!!

Thanks for the very well written review

Lesya said...

I didn't like it either. Great review, I love the flow of your thoughts in it.

Dan O. said...

I didn't dislike this as much as others did, and surprisingly I found this very entertaining just not very well-written. It tries to reach for a higher theme than most romantic comedies, and doesn't do well with that, but the chemistry between these two really did keep me involved. Good Review!

Larry Taylor said...

Great Review. And I must say there is only one reason I would ever see this.

I'll leave it at that.

37paddington said...

Excellent actors, terrible vehicle, poor outcome. I didn't care enough to think this deeply about the film. I pretty much just watched and forgot, but I do think you nailed it. Great review.

Guadi said...

This movie was really one of the worst I've ever seen. As you said, nudity had no purpose, and sometimes, in my view, it was even disgusting. Nice review!

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