Movie review: ‘Love and Other Drugs’
Tue, Nov 23, 2010 (5:45 p.m.)
After years spent making self-serious historical and/or social-issue dramas (The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond, Courage Under Fire, etc.), Edward Zwick has finally directed a movie that mirrors the kind of earnest relationship stories he’s known for producing on TV in shows like Thirtysomething and My So-Called Life. Love and Other Drugs plays like a movie version of one of those shows, with natural, flawed characters in a believable relationship. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a charismatic, womanizing pharmaceutical rep in the Midwest in the late 1990s, just as Viagra is being introduced. As his career takes off, he finds himself falling in love with a quirky artist (Hathaway) who’s suffering from Parkinson’s disease. The early courtship scenes have a wonderful unforced chemistry, and Oliver Platt provides nice comic relief as a fellow Viagra salesman. The illness-related tragedy eventually tips the movie too far into melodrama, but for a while it’s an effective antidote to the bloated seriousness of Zwick’s past films.