The Movie: 4/10
Love and Other Drugs was not a great movie. There is nothing on its face that points to the fact that it should not be good, but it really was a mash up of romantic comedy and a bit of drama that just did not work for me. First of all, Jake Gyllenhaal as Jamie was a really fun character, and extremely likable, when he was a womanizer at the beginning of the movie. He was a jerk and a weasel, but he was very likable, and at some point pretty early on, he morphed into this other character who was sweet and in love, and caring, and ultimately boring and unlikable as a character. It is understandable that he evolved, but I personally just became completely detached when his character changed.
Jamie is a guy who initially could charm his way into the arms of just about any girl. He is a bit of a slacker compared to his computer nerd brother, who has seemingly made millions, and when Jamie takes a shot at becoming a drug sales representative, he is forced to find a way to make his charm work for him in the workplace. An early encounter with a physician, following him around in the office, finds Jamie becoming enthralled with Maggie (Anne Hathaway), who initially is presented as having some sort of illness, or perhaps is just a hypochondriac. Either way, she is a self assured strong female, who ultimately ends up pushing the advances of Jamie away, as she is hell-bent on avoiding any and all serious relationships.
I have to point out here that I am not a huge fan of Anne Hathaway, and while her performance was decent, I just am unsure as to why everyone is so gaga over her. Her acting is nothing special (her best work was the Princess Diaries, and I only know that because I have a step-daughter), and otherwise she does nothing for me. In her role as Maggie, which again starts out as a likable, feisty character, she also devolves into a needy, clingy, unlikable sort of person, which again just hurts the overall film.
The relationship between Jamie and Maggie starts off hot and heavy, and fun, but it slowly changes as the two fall for each other, and turn from sex to a relationship. Jamie has a semi-funny little adventure when his brother, now broke, moves into Jamie;s apartment, right as Jamie is finding his footing as a drug rep. The one thing that propels Jamie to sales stardom ends up being the introduction of Viagra, which Jamie feels he is destined to sell. As his personal stock rises, Maggie’s condition (she has Parkinson’s Disease) starts to deteriorate, leaving Jamie and Maggie in a rough spot of trying to figure out just what to do.
Love and Other Drugs kind of has too much going on for it to be a great movie. As a fun romp, the first part of the movie is light and fun, and when Jamie is trying to break into the sales business, it is more serious, but also good. Then the movie transforms into two needy people trying to figure out how to make a relationship work while Jamie’s job is taking off and Maggie’s disease is causing her serious issues with just getting by. It is just a lot to fit into one movie, and when you add the fact that the fun characters all but disappear, the end result is just plain not good.
Again, the story and acting are decent, but overall this one just did not work for me. Even my wife was somewhat lost and disappointed with Love and Other Drugs.
- Deleted Scenes – There are 7 minutes of deleted scenes, and they add very little to the movie, and are definitely not missed.
- Love & Other Drugs: An Actor’s Discussion – This is the behind the scenes classic video, and it goes into detail on the film and the relationship between Gyllenhaal and Hathaway’s characters.
- Beautifully Complex: Anne Hathaway Is Maggie – Anne Hathaway takes us through the character of Maggie, and gives us insight into how she got into the role. this bit runs about 3 minutes in length.
- Reformed Womanizer: Jake Gyllenhaal Is Jamie – In the corresponding piece to the above, we get Jake Gyllenhaal explaining the Jamie character. Again, this runs about 3 minutes, and both of these feature clips from the movie to help detail the characters.
- Selling Love & Other Drugs – This is an interesting short bit on the drug sales in the movie. It is a strange inclusion, but a cool extra nonetheless. An actual pharmaceutical representative that was brought on as a consultant for the movie walks us through this extra.
- Digital Copy – We get a video copy for your iPhone or computer, but I don’t know if I would use it to be honest.
Cover Art and Menus:6/10
Can someone explain to me what this cover is trying to say? Is Jake Gyllenhaal saying he can’t believe that he slept with Anne Hathaway’s character, or is he just confused? The movie doesn’t really show this kind of “oops” sentiment, and it is a little confusing. the cover shot itself is not horrible, so I will give it a pass, but the cover is a bit confusing given the rest of the movie itself. As for the menu, it is pretty cool as it features a side scrolling collection of Polaroids, which are actually scenes from the movie.
Audio & Video: 8/10
The video presentation is top notch here. Clarity and color are superb, with the 1.85:1 AVC encode looking great. For this type of movie I thought that that video presentation was excellent. The audio was decent, even though it was not overwhelming. Again, this type of movie is not going to use much surround or bass, but it was pretty good sound overall.
This is not a romantic comedy, and not a drama, so it was very hard to enjoy. The presentation on Blu-ray was well done, even with just some average extras. I just really did not love Love and Other Drugs, and it really made for a hard watch. The acting was not horrible, and the script was decent, but this just did not work for me as a movie. It was a real struggle to empathize with the main characters, and it felt like the movie was trying to be too many things, and ended up being just a shell of a movie.
Overall Score 5/10