Love and drugs usually do not mix very well, but when love is the drug, life becomes even more hectic. However, there is nothing more enjoyable than falling in love! “Love and Other Drugs” is a romantic comedy by director Edward Zwick.
Taking place in 1996, Jamie, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, gets fired from his old job and eventually gets hired as a pharmaceutical salesman for the new company Pfizer. Jamie is your typical salesman since he dazzles all of the ladies with his dashingly good looks and charm. Upon moving to Ohio for his job, he lands an opportunity to study under a doctor. At this office, he meets Maggie, played by Anne Hathaway, a carefree photographer with a rare condition.
Though their ambitions are different, Jamie and Maggie’s goals in the romantic world could not be more similar. Like in all romantic comedies, their relationship has a rocky start, but over time they accept each other’s faults and find themselves addicted to the worst drug of them all: love.
“Love and Other Drugs” has a very predictable plot line, especially if one has already seen the trailer. Similar to the plot, the soundtrack was also very dry. Normally, background music enriches a scene, especially significant ones, but in this film the music was overly clichéd. The songs were not catchy 90’s pop tunes, and instead contained dramatic music with a piano and some string instruments. What saves the movie is the comical lines the characters say to each other and the funny events that occur. Most of these humorous scenes include Jamie’s brother, Josh, played by Josh Gad, who really makes viewers cry of laughter.
Speaking of tears, “Love and Other Drugs” may also make viewers cry. Towards the end, tear-jerker after tear-jerker moments arise. Both characters evolve as they spend more time with each other, which is rare for a romantic comedy. While the tragedies give the movie another element, they are also a bit overwhelming, especially because they ensue consecutively.
Although the plot was almost too predictable, all of the actors in the film did a respectable job. Gyllenhaal and Hathaway work with an easiness that delights viewers. Despite the wonderful chemistry between the two actors, there were a few major issues with the film. First, viewers will be confused if they are unaware of the importance of the little details like Pfeizer and Viagra during the 90’s. Secondly, it is unclear how much time had passed. Viewers cannot tell if three months or twelve months have gone by within the 113 minutes they have spent watching the film.
Most importantly, the movie is not only rated R because of the language, but because it contains several scenes of nudity. Body parts are flashed across the screen many times, which some might consider distasteful. In addition, the discussion and action of sexual activities might make some viewers uncomfortable.
“Love and Other Drugs” was original, but not too impressive. Without Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, it would lose all quality. If viewers are not Gyllenhaalics (avid Jake Gyllenhaal fans) or Hathaway fans, they will most likely find this movie disappointing. So much could have been done with it, but Zwick tried too hard. A simpler approach would have made this movie an instant success. In other words, East students are better off paying 1 dollar to rent this at the Red Box than wasting 9.50 dollars to see the film at the theatre.