"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.