Sunday, November 28, 2010


Ed Zwick's slick new romantic dramedy Love and Other Drugs blinds you with its nudity and the magnetic attraction between its two hot leads.  Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal deliver a pair of very persuasive and committed performances as unlikely lovers who meet, fall into serious lust, and then, one by one, into serious love, discovering a lot about themselves in the process.  What makes the film stand out the most, however, is its depiction of sex and nudity -- so few major Hollywood films these days depict sex the way Zwick and his co-writers did in this film, and the bravery shown by Hathaway and Gyllenhaal, who both look fantastic, is undeniable.  Hathaway is unclothed for almost the entire film; same goes for Jake, so it's an equal opportunity situation for guys and girls.  I lost count of how many love scenes the two of them engaged in, and overall, the film just has this steamy and sexy vibe that is very uncommon these days.  The film that surrounds them is enjoyable and mostly predictable with a busy story focusing on pharmaceutical salesmen (Oliver Platt steals about a half-dozen scenes), dysfunctional relationships, morally and ethically questionable doctors (Hank Azaria rules), and the capacity for one person to love another unconditionally.  For some reason I was reminded of Jerry Maguire a few times while watching.  There is a big twist to Love and Other Drugs (one that I won't give away here) that gives the narrative some weight behind all of the yuk-yuks (mainly from Josh Gad in a sloppily funny performance), the wonderfully lit and choreographed love scenes (Steve Fierberg is the d.o.p.), and the 90's pop-music infused soundtrack.  And while the film goes a bit gooey and Hwood at the end and ties things up a bit to neatly, there's no denying that it works on pure entertainment level alone, and that the electric chemisty between Hathaway and Gyllenhaal is ridiculously palpable.  These are two people you want to see together, doing anything together, just occupying the same space as one another.  I wouldn't be surprised if the two of them work together again in the future.

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