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Love and Other Drugs (15)

The ViewNewcastle Review

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Review byMatthew Turner22/12/2010

Opens Friday 31 December 2010

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 112 mins

Part raunchy romcom and part disease-of-the-week movie, this is an enjoyable and ultimately moving drama that transcends its potentially mawkish subject matter thanks to a strong script and terrific performances from its two frequently naked leads.

What's it all about?
Directed by Edward Zwick, Love and Other Drugs essentially grafts a romcom / disease-of-the-week plot onto Jamie Reidy's 1990 true life drug rep expose Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as smooth-talking, womanising pharmaceutical rep Jamie, who meets his match when he falls for sharp-tongued, drop-dead gorgeous Maggie (Anne Hathaway), only to discover that she's suffering from stage one Parkinson's disease.

The Good
Jake Gyllenhaal is excellent, seemingly bringing a touch of the Clooneys to the charming, charismatic Jamie; he might be a shameless operator but you're never in any doubt that there's plenty of heart underneath. He also has terrific chemistry with Anne Hathaway, who delivers a superb performance as Maggie, masking deep emotional pain with a tough-talking exterior.

In addition, there's superb comic support from Josh Gad (as Jamie's porn-obsessed brother, whose marriage is in trouble), the always-excellent Oliver Platt (as Jamie's drug rep partner), Judy Greer (as a nurse Jamie uses to get close to the doctors he's targeting) and Hank Azaria as a doctor who's frustratingly resistant to all Jamie's usual tricks.

The Great
The witty script handles the transition from romantic sex comedy to disease-of-the-week drama well and asks some thought-provoking questions in the process. Similarly, the film presents an refreshingly unconventional relationship (at least compared to standard romcom fare) and Zwick livens things up with some decent sex scenes and plenty of equal opportunity nudity (there is, quite literally, something for everyone).

There are several excellent scenes - highlights include: some enjoyable montages of Jamie employing the tricks of his trade; Maggie and Jamie's first encounter (when he's posing as a medical intern while she gets a breast examination); and Maggie's heart-breaking reaction to her first real tremors (the film also deserves praise for avoiding the expected nose-dive into mawkishness).

Worth seeing?
Love and Other Drugs is an enjoyable, frequently funny and ultimately moving comedy-drama with terrific performances and powerful chemistry between its two smoking hot leads. Recommended.

Film Trailer

Love and Other Drugs (15)
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Content updated: 30/12/2010 08:54

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