Movie Review: Love & Other Drugs

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If you catch the “Love & Other Drugs” trailer recently and expect to see a cute story of boy meets girl… beware. It’s a hard R-rated romcom – more on the comedy side but with doses of sappiness – for adult audience. It shouldn’t be confused with a mild PG-13 romcom.

Jake Gyllenhaal (Jamie Randall) and Anne Hathaway (Maggie Murdock) reunite after their distinctive roles in “Brokeback Mountain.” Jamie as a smooth-talker drug rep and a player among the ladies, and Maggie as a carefree artist with Parkinson’s disease.

After an eye-popping encounter during an examination in a doctor’s office (Hank Azaria), Jamie and Maggie seem inseparable while maintaining a non-committal relationship. Smitten and bitten by a love bug, the two share caring and heartbreaking moments. What started as a purely physical relationship is becoming real.

Things are complicated by Jamie’s fast-track career to the top of the pharmaceutical industry and Maggie’s incurable condition. They recognize the true person and potential behind the other’s persona. Love may be the ultimate drug of all.

With product placements as “co-star”, it makes you question (in real life) whether a certain drug prescribed to a patient is the best choice or if its prescribed only because it’s the one that gets peddled the hardest by overzealous reps — with the likes of Jamie (and his boss, played by Oliver Platt) and Trey Hannigan (Gabriel Macht) — to medical offices and hospitals. Josh Randall (Josh Gad), Jamie’s wealthy, geeky brother cheers on and tags along for the ride with his gross-out gags.

The movie relies heavily on the couple’s chemistry and all-around, in-your-face saucy antics and lewd humor. Its attempts to equally appeal to both male and female audiences come across as fragmented. Nevertheless, Hathaway deserves kudos for her sensitive portrayal amidst all the excessively gratuitous shots and crudeness. Gyllenhaal wears both aggressive and lovesick looks very well.

Personally, raunchy comedy is not my “cup of tea,” but those who are into movies like “Knocked Up” or “40-Year Old Virgin” may find it just plain fun.

“Love & Other Drugs” opens nationwide on November 24.

Copyright (c) 2010. Nathalia Aryani.

Nathalia Aryani is a business manager, foreign language translator, lifestyle/travel writer and film columnist. She owns a movies blog, The MovieMaven ( Nathalia can be reached at

Nathalia Aryani is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic ( She has a movie blog, The MovieMaven ( Twitter: @the_moviemaven. She can be reached at [email protected].

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