By Helen Mannion
When a romantic comedy comes to mind, it usually includes the typical clichés: boy meets girl and they fall in love, fight, make up and live happily ever after. While Love and Other Drugs follows the same formula, it does so with A-list actors and a sweet, sexy story.
Directed by Edward Zwick (Defiance), the film follows a charming young pharmaceutical salesman, Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain) and his adventures with love, drugs and everything in between.
Randall starts out as a clerk at an electronics store, but soon finds himself unemployed after he seduces his boss’s wife. Desperate for a job, he takes the advice of his geeky, rich brother, Josh (Josh Gad, 21), and enrolls in a pharmaceutical program with Pfizer.
During the program, Randall learns about the different types of drugs and how to sell them. He gets assigned to a small town with his partner, Bruce Winston (Oliver Platt, 2012), and together they set out to sell prescription Zoloft to doctors who solely prescribe Prozac.
Randall and Winston find themselves at the office of Dr. Stan Knight (Hank Azaria, The Simpsons), one of the best doctors in town. Knight gets his supply of Prozac from feared salesman and good friend Trey Hannigan (Gabriel Macht, Behind Enemy Lines). Randall tries to woo Knight’s receptionists with his charm in hopes of scoring a meeting with the doctor. He eventually succeeds and becomes an unofficial intern with Knight.
Shortly after, he meets Maggie Murdock (Anne Hathaway, Alice in Wonderland). Murdock is a free spirit and the complete opposite of the womanizing Randall. She also has early onset Parkinson’s disease. While on a visit to Knight’s office for a new prescription for her Parkinson’s medication, Randall glances at Murdock’s chest and pays the consequences by getting hit over the head with her purse.
In an attempt to get closer to Murdock, Randall again uses his charm to get what he wants. He obtains Murdock’s phone number from Knight’s secretaries and tries to get her to go out on a date. Murdock agrees and the couple’s whirlwind romance begins.
At first, Randall and Murdock are solely friends with benefits. They have many trysts, usually at Murdock’s apartment. After sleeping together for a while, Randall realizes he is starting to have feelings for Murdock. He eventually confesses his love and the pair begin to pursue a serious relationship.
While the new couple is in the honeymoon stage, Randall starts selling a new sex drug, Viagra, for Pfizer. His sales skyrocket and he becomes an overnight sensation. At the same time, Murdock’s condition worsens. Randall, realizing that he can’t lose her, does everything in his power to help her. The two travel far and wide to different doctors to try and find help. Murdock eventually becomes worn down and leaves Randall heartbroken.
In the end, Randall and Murdock find their happily-ever-after. Hathaway and Gyllenhaal’s on-screen chemistry is electric. They work so well together it looks natural. Even though the two worked together before in Brokeback Mountain, Gyllenhaal and Hathaway bring something new to the table.
Randall’s brother Josh is an awkward addition to the movie and unnecessary. Although he provided some comedic relief, his role didn’t benefit the movie or contribute anything to the plot. His parts in the film were actually quite disturbing and perverted.
Love and Other Drugs incorporates a lot of nudity, which may either be favorable or not depending on your preference. But, getting a chance to see Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway participating in a heated session on the floor may be one of the highlights of the movie.
Altogether, the movie mixes romance and comedy together seamlessly. There’s a perfect amount of mush and laughs, so it’s the ideal date movie. Love and Other Drugs is one drug you’ll probably become addicted to.