Saturday, February 5, 2011

LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS

Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Oliver Platt, Hank Azaria, Josh Gad


Cinema 2, Shang Cineplex



Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal) is the son of overachieving parents who finds himself wandering in a lackluster career path. That is until, he embarks on a stressful and highly competitve job as a pharmaceutical rep for one of the biggest drug companies, Pfizer. He finds himself assigned to a rusty stretch of the American heartland and is constantly hounded by his supervisor (Oliver Platt) to reach the quota. While at the same time, he finds his well oiled competitor beating him to the punch and crunch of the trade. But the glib tongued Jamie is a natural born charmer and manages to 'seduce' his contacts into displaying Pfizer's drug Zoloft along side the more famous Prozac.

It also brings about a cute meeting with Maggie Murdock (Anne Hathaway), who sees right through Jamie’s game and yet strings along with it anyway. Maggie is a free spirited artist, an adventurer and sort of a cynic when it comes to romantic involvements. She also has early-onset Parkinson’s disease, an affliction that casts a complicated shadow over her relationship with Jamie. Her illness makes her wary of growing too close to Jamie and provides a valid explanation for her no-strings, commitment-shy approach to intimacy.

So Jamie and Maggie have fun in the sack, and on the floor, and wherever else the mood strikes. Their intense and almost immediate sexual connection opens the door to emotions that neither is quite prepared for but that neither wants to resist.

Then towards the end of the movie, it turns into a sappy melodrama as Maggie decides to push Jaime away from her. A good move as he just got a huge promotion selling the new wonder drug developed by Pfizer for men with performance issues, yes the blue pill, Viagra. So she doesn't want to stand in his way and be a burden. Sigh!

Jake manages to make Jaime look good despite his ehem immoral stance and competitive spirit. We also know alot about his background, his behavoir and his lofty ambitions. His parents, played by George Segal and Jill Clayburgh are on screen briefly, but they ground Jamie in a social and familial milieu and help us understand who he is.

Maggie on the other hand has a mysterious aura about her. She doesn't share much information about her background or her family. She lives alone with her affliction amidst her artistic flair and dare I say has a ravenous libido that overwhelms her very core. Yet she often seems like there is much more to her personality and that is in essence due to Anne Hathway's acting talent.

So Anne Hathaway and the yummy Jake Gyllenhaal are frequently delightful to watch, and their ease together is palpable. Their great chemistry blends the melodrama, low comedy and romantic entanglements into a giant feel good film.

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