05 December 2010

Love and Other Drugs (2010)

Does this movie have the greatest title or what? Love is a drug! Ah! Based on title alone I needed to watch this movie. Having just come from an hour long discussion with my friend about the romantic comedy genre, I needed this movie to be great. And for the most part it was. Screw the reviews, Love and Other Drugs is the best romantic comedy of the year. For one, Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway are great together and while I can't say this often, Gyllenhaal should do more romantic comedies.

I've noticed that recent rom coms have tended to feature women who want to keep sex separate from a friendship, and they set up these safety walls around them. The guy then chases them down to declare their love. I don't know if this is just the reaction to gender politics of the day, but my guess is that these "women just want to sleep with you but don't want a commitment" fantasies are written by males. Exhibit B: check out the trailer for Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher's upcoming romantic comedy, No Strings Attached. I'd love to hear someone else's perspective on this. Anyway, that's kind of the plot here, with Hathaway unwilling to let Jake into her emotional whirlpool.

What I liked about Love and Other Drugs was that it didn't feel like I was watching a typical romantic comedy. The plot beats were different, the themes went deeper, and while there was the inclusion of lots of humor (and an over the top brother character), this wasn't a movie that washed away as soon as the credits were over. While the film did take a bit of a nosedive for me around the three-fourths mark, I think I just need to concede that in the end, this was still a movie about love. Go watch Love and Other Drugs, you won't be disappointed.

Director Edward Zwick and writer Marshall Herskovitz's production company have been responsible for stuff like thirtysomething, Shakespeare in Love, Legends of the Fall, My So Called Life, Once and Again, and the web series Quarterlife. It's pretty interesting what they did with the book the movie is based on, Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman, which I haven't read but doubt was so focused on the protagonist's romance. I want to be Zwick and Herskovitz's intern.