Love & Other Drugs (Blu-ray)
Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a young charming pharmaceutical drug rep that has no attachments and a successful lust for women. Jake meets Maggie (Anne Hathaway), a no-nonsense free spirit with stage one Parkinson’s. They immediately connect because of their shared passion for sex without obligations. However, the more time the two spend together, the more they realize their feelings for one another goes beyond the bedroom.
LOVE & OTHER DRUGS is a love story in the 90’s about two people with great chemistry but are reluctant of commitment. Other than that fairly normal through line, the film is divided into two extremely interesting and different stories. On one hand we have a very funny comedy about a womanizing pharmaceutical rep that was one of the first to introduce Viagra. On the other we have an intense drama about Parkinson’s disease and the strains it may have on a relationship. Original and entertaining, both topics could hold an entire film on their own, but when put together the film loses focus. I found myself wanting more time dedicated to each subject. The fact that the two genres it juggles are extreme opposites only magnifies the flaw. Raunchy comedy or touching drama? Focusing on one or the other would have given this film the deepness necessary to be more impactful.
Fantastic acting coupled with their great chemistry, Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway embodied their characters. With infectious energy, they both had my eyeballs welling up toward the end. To be fair, I’m a sucker for the sincere ridiculous grand gestures of movie love to wrap up conflict. Josh Gad as Jamie’s successful in business but repulsive to women brother is another shining star in the film. Hilariously nailing every look and line he has in the picture, Josh contributes to many laugh-out-loud moments. I eagerly await seeing him in future comedies. The rest of the supporting cast is absolutely fabulous consisting of Oliver Platt, Hank Azaria, Gabriel Macht and Judy Greer
This is somewhat of a stray for director Edward Zwick who is known for more grand films like BLOOD DIAMOND, THE LAST SAMURAI, COURAGE UNDER FIRE, LEGENDS OF THE FALL and GLORY. He does a fair job here but LOVE & OTHER DRUGS doesn’t really compare to these sweeping films. And although not quite as memorable, among less skilled hands LOVE & OTHER DRUGS would have failed completely.
With some very poignant emotional moments and even more hardy laughter funny moments, LOVE & OTHER DRUGS ultimately delivers. Both storylines are a refreshing take in a world of clichés, remakes and sequels. In this case the two overly positives actually created a near negative. Nonetheless, I did enjoy it and believe there was potential for two truly great films rather than one above average.
Video: (Widescreen 1.85:1) The picture looks great, bringing out all the subtle color choices.
Audio: (5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio) The sound is fine in this more dialogue driven movie.
Deleted Scenes (7:31): Three scenes that show more dynamics to the characters and reaffirm implied moments in the film.
Love & Other Drugs: An Actor’s Discussion (8:00): People involved with the film discuss the movie, characters and the lead actors performances and their chemistry.
Beautifully Complex: Anne Hathaway is Maggie (2:57): Anne talks about her character.
Reformed Womanizer: Jake Gyllenhaal is Jamie (3:34): Jake talks about his character.
Selling Love & Other Drugs (3:10): This is an interesting character study into the attitude and techniques a skilled drug rep must have and use.
BD LIVE EXTRAS
Live Lookup: You can look up the actor’s current filmographies on IMDB.com.
Exclusive: Jake’s Favorite Scene (1:01): Pretty self-explanatory.