Thursday, October 27, 2011

Love and Other Drugs

By s. Thursday, October 27, 2011 , , , , , , , ,
(112 min, 2010)
Director: Edward Zwick
Writers: Charles Randolph (screenplay), Edward Zwick (screenplay),
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway and Judy Greer

Sex over substance

Maggie (Anne Hathaway) is an alluring free spirit who won't let anyone - or anything - tie her down. But she meets her match in Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal), whose relentless and nearly infallible charm serve him well with the ladies and in the cutthroat world of pharmaceutical sales. Maggie and Jamie's evolving relationship takes them both by surprise, as they find themselves under the influence of the ultimate drug: love.

Ah, how I loved the 90s. The time when MTV actually played good music, when Johnny Depp wasn't the object of incisive salivation of 13 year-old girls, when actual good singers were considered to be good singers, not plastic platinum blondes and when “Friends” were on TV. So the beginning of “Love and other drugs”, set in 1996 when we hear “"Two Princes" in the background started off promising. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from that moment.

There are two things that annoy the living hell out of me when I watch comedies – when it's not funny and you can clearly see when director wanted you too laugh, it was just too lame of attempt to succeed and when you are bored so much you split your focus and start doing something else. During this particular movie I actually started feeding my virtual cat slash dog on Facebook. That's how bored I was.

The biggest problem is that you just don't care. The characters, main characters that is, are likeable but their story is not interesting enough. Maggie has Parkinson's disease and she immerses herself into empty sex and helping older people get medication. Jamie is a guy who also loves empty sex and works for pharmaceutical company. So the two, as you can imagine, meet in doctors office. Maggie hits Jaime with her bag because he saw her breasts, he calls her few days later, they meet, they have sex and so it goes. Maggie doesn't want anything serious, Jaime is good with that, but over time, surprise, surprise! He falls for her.

The first part of the movie is borderline watchable with some funny moments and lovely nudity, which I gathered actually required preparations - in designing the sex scenes, director Edward Zwick had the principals watch romantic comedies and sexually charged films (everything from "Pillow Talk" to "9 Songs" to "Last Tango In Paris") and talk about what turned them on. Then some of those shots and ideas were incorporated into the making of. It seems more effort was put into sex scenes than in actual script. But kudos to the cast and crew for this – actual nudity is hard to come across in movies nowadays, where producers frantically try to cover actors with clothes to get PG-13 ratings and earn more money. I'm talking to you people, who had the audacity to serve us this ridiculous “love scene” in “Public Enemies” where Depp and Cotilliard roll over bed in their clothes. If you don't have the guts to show love or sex don't prolong already mind numbingly boring movie with something like this. You actually made me add one point to “Love and other drugs” for not being ridiculous in at least that department.

It is only in a world where we have to see scenes like before mentioned “Public enemies” where the nudity in “Love and other drugs” can cause scandal. And it did. Hold your horses, people – it's over hyped. For a Hollywood movie it's a lot, but it's actually tasteful. If there is anything good about this film it's the approach towards showing love scenes and the main performances.

Gyllenhaal is very good as charming young man who is on a road to success and Hathaway is excellent as a girl struggling with serious illness. He is attractive, she is pretty. They are adorable and it's only because of casting we have sympathy for Jaime and Maggie – after all he is playboy who uses girls for his own benefit and she is selfish and acts heartless. When they have their casual encounters there is a lot of chemistry, but when movie tries to turn into something serious, it's not believable. We don't believe that they love each other. It's only the script's fault. Whoever wrote this should be publicly whipped, actually. Why go the conventional way? Why try to make us believe people who don't care for love fell pray to it? Why can't a woman just have sex with whoever she wants and why can't a guy just score girls without meeting the one to spend his life with? The script of this movie borders on science fiction. Some people just aren't made for chasing after their “love”.
In addition to being a mess the movie also has wasted potential – there are some great scenes and lines, but overall the experience of watching “Love and other drugs” is extremely tiring. I think the only people who would enjoy this movie are fans of Gyllenhaal and Hathaway. But honestly, if you wanna see them both naked just watch “Brokeback Mountain” again. Don't waste time with the movie, which own makers didn't know what they want to accomplish with.

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