Today: April 20, 2024
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Love and Other Drugs

Sometimes the talk of a film can overtake what the actual film is
about and that’s exactly what’s happened with Love and Other Drugs.
Mainstream Hollywood films are known for abstaining from realistic sex
scenes in favour of softly light, heavily edited lovemaking with some
hideous soft rock anthem accompanying it and the fact that Love and
Other Drugs doesn’t shy away from the kind of sex that real lust-fuelled
people have, has gained it a noticeable amount of interest. It also
helps that it happens to star two of the prettiest and most likable
young actors Hollywood has to offer but amongst all the sex, nips and
cracks flying in front of the camera there’s a lot of other things going
on.

Starting off in 1996, Jamie Randall is good at two things; selling
things and bedding women. After his wandering member lands him in
trouble with his boss at an electronics shop, he turns his attention to
becoming a pharmaceutical rep, one of the very few jobs in America that
has a starting wage bracket way above the national average. After months
of trying to hustle his way to the top and a lucrative job in Chicago,
he meets Maggie Murdock (Hathaway) a 26-year old suffering from
an early onset of Parkinson’s disease. After resisting his initial
carbon copy chat up lines, she agrees to meet him for a coffee that ends
up with a passionate tryst in her kitchen. And her front room. And on
the floor.

Inevitably the great sex leads to feelings, but this time it’s from
him. Her disease forces her to keep him at arms length before he labels
her the dreaded g-word. Amongst all these relationship issues, the
company Randall works for has just launched an exciting new drug set to
change the lives of many called Viagra.

Amongst all the different angles that the story tries to cover there
is a lot of good here. Both Gyllenhaal and Hathaway are both obscenely
watchable and likable on screen presences that it’s easy to want to forgive all of the film’s faults
just because they’re so great. Both are perfectly cast and you wouldn’t
doubt for a second that he’s able to get any woman he wants and she’s
as knowingly sassy as she seems. Both are carbon copy characters you
find in most rom-coms but they’re able to give it some gravitas.
Similarly there are great turns from Oliver Platt, Hank Azaria, Gabreil
Macht and Josh Gad as Randall’s ugly, fat, inappropriate but somewhat
funny younger brother.

But what is the point of Love and Other Drugs? It has a frantic
beginning about a failed career that becomes a quest for a career, then
turns to numerous sex scenes, followed by a love drama, an honest think
piece of Parkinson’s to the inevitably obvious rom-com style ending. Its
aimless need to cover as much as humanly possible is just too much to digest and
it feels like four very different films crammed together. It’s
especially frustrating that all the effort that was put in to make sure
this stands out is spectacularly undone at the end.

Marcia Degia - Publisher

Marcia Degia, who has worked in the media industry for more than 20 years, is the Publishing Editor of KOL Social Magazine. See website: thekolsocial.com

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