Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Love and Other Drugs [2010]

MPAA (R) USCCB (O) Roger Ebert (2 ½ stars) Fr. Dennis (3 ½ stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB review
Roger Ebert’s review

There are a number of things that a person ought to know about the movie Love and Other Drugs prior to going to see it.

First, it is not really a “romcom” (romantic comedy). It’s about Maggie Murdoch (played by Anne Hathaway) who is suffering from Parkinson disease and Jamie Randall (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) who is a good-looking, smooth-talking underachiever, who finds himself progressively falling for her perhaps precisely because her suffering with the disease makes her more than he expected.

Second, while much has been made of Anne Hathaway’s nudity in the picture, if that’s what would bring you to this picture, you’ll probably be disappointed. Yes it’s there (and yes, she is normally gorgeous). But the nudity in this picture is so matter-of-fact, so simply part of the story (it’s a romance after all) that you’d have to go out of your way to search for it and focus on it or it will pass you by.

It seems, in fact, director Ed Zwick’s intention to declare that the REAL PORN (and the real Comedy...) in this movie is to be found in the slick salesmanship by reps of pharmaceutical companies who vend drugs that, yes, do actually help people and can even save their lives, but sell them using hard sale techniques that would be more fitting of a car salesman pitching a red hot camero to a 40 something who may have gone to the auto dealership in hopes of simply checking prices on a minivan. And, we find, according to director Zwick’s opinion anyway, that truly everyone – from the receptionists, to the nurses, to the doctors at the end of the journey – can be manipulated, seduced and bought.

So this movie becomes Jerry McGuire meets Children of a Lesser God. Well acted and with several levels of messaging, I do believe it is worth seeing though obviously not for younger viewers. But even for the adults if you were expecting a light movie here, that it is not.

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