Saturday, 28 May 2011

DVD Review: Love And Other Drugs

Rating: 5.9/10 - Average

This is a romantic comedy, or ‘rom-com’ as it has been nicknamed. The reason I highlight the genre under which this film falls is exactly to point out that it is indeed just another product of one of the Hollywood formulas. This formula however does try to incorporate more ‘real’ elements into the lives of the characters, in this case some failure and a low self esteem and last but not least Anne Hathaway’s character Maggie Murdock’s first stage Parkinson’s disease.

Director: Edward Zwick. Screenplay: Charles Randolph and Edward Zwick. Producers: Pieter Jan Brugge, Marshall Herskovitz, Charles Randolph,Scott Stuber and Edward Zwick. Cinematographer: Hoyte Van Hoytema. Editor: Steven Rosenblum. Score: James Newton Howard. Studio: 20th Century Fox / Regency Enterprise. Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Oliver Platt, Hank Azaria, Josh Gad, Gabriel Macht and Judy Greer. Age Restriction: 16SNL. Running Time: 112 Minutes.

The story rings as such: Jake Gyllenhaal, a true Casanova, is a handsome, smart and smooth mouthed womanizer above all. Jake or James Randall is a rally good salesmen and with the help of his geeky brother, ends up selling prescription meeds to high end doctors. This new line of field brings him to more women whom he cajoles and ultimately Anne Hathaway’s character intersects in his self indulgent routine of thoughtless sex. The team of Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway end up having steaming sex which renders the audience as breathless as they are. Yet this cold hearted affair does not carry on forever, the couple ends up with Chinese takeout in a rumpled bed together and as the language of ‘rom-com’s’ have been, one can now establish that they are in love. What breaks thetas seemingly perfect flow of things then, is Hathaway’s character’s deteriorating condition. The couple tries to deal with Maggie Murdock’s first level Parkinson’s disease and end up traveling the country i search of a cure. This breaks them and Hathaway decides to end it. In an equally emotional epiphanic moment where Jake Gyllenhaal’s character realized he needs this women, the film carries Hathaway to a climaxing moment in her role.

Hathaway carries this emotion with an act that is near to perfection and is ultimately much better than the screenplay itself. While Hathaway and Gyllenhaal have good chemistry, and director Edward Zwick moves the narrative along nicely, the film is too self-satisfied to be genuinely touching. We remain spectators observing the greatness of their love, physical and otherwise. But as the film claims, the message that intense chemistry is more powerful than any drug on the market is subtly proved yet not convincingly so.

Love And Other Drugs is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.

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