Love And Other Drugs Review

It’s funny, 3 years ago Judd Apatow said Anne Hathaway turned down the female lead in Knocked Up because ‘She didn’t want people to see a baby come out of her vagina.’ 3 years later and we can now see Hathaway get her kit off multiple times in a film that is far less entertaining, but hey, at least there’s no baby coming out of her vagina.

The film is based around Jamie (Gyllenhaal), a smart underachiever who has dropped out of med school to become a pharmaceutical rep. Whilst hanging around doctors offices trying to sell an alternative to Prozac he meets Maggie (Hathaway), a young woman suffering from Parkinson’s disease who he instantly falls for. The rest of the film looks at their relationship though also deals with a sublplot about the creation of Viagra.

The film is completely torn between whether it wants to be a serious drama or a sex comedy, there is a long montage where Hathaway and Gyllenhaal are travelling from hospital to hospital, trying to find new treatments for Parkinson’s, this is melodramatic, but strong and you can see the film trying to get some emotion across but all this is ruined by having Josh Gad in the movie. Gad is unforgivably out of place. He is like a Jonah Hill type, with far less charm. It’s strange that in a film that has a strong supporting cast with the likes of Oliver Platt and Hank Azaria that the filmmakers even decided to keep the overtly sexual humour in the film. This just goes to prove, you can’t make Superbad for the intellectual crowd.

Despite its weak minor characters the film is still strong in many aspects, the Viagra plot is a fun and original theme (if not a tad pointless as it really doesn’t relate to the situation at all and leads to most of the Josh Gad jokes), the main characters are likeable if not a bit one dimensional seeing as their whole lives just seem to revolve around the medical industry, though Hathaway’s character is apparently an artist but she’s never really working on anything for you to really notice, just paint splattered overalls to get the message across. Yet it is Hathaway who really does save the film from being abysmal, she is far too good a performer for a film like this (and most of the dreck she puts out for that matter), there is a moment when she screams in pain that will echo with every man, woman and child who sees this movie, and just in that one scream, she gives one of the finest performances of the year.

Every year we get a movie like this: A-list stars, good supporting cast, tackles the human condition, has a classy director and comes out around December. This is the Oscar underdog, last year we had three of them with Everybody’s Fine, It’s Complicated and Brothers, films that come out of nowhere, seem to have a lot of prestige around them but soon fizzle away without people having strong memories of them. Love and Other Drugs isn’t a bad movie, it just thinks it’s better than it really is. Then again, you do get to see Anne Hathaway’s boobs multiple times so maybe it’s not all that bad.

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