By Ashley Miller
“Love and Other Drugs” is a romantic comedy with a bit of a twist. Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, who played the imperfect couple in “Brokeback Mountain,” create serious on-screen chemistry.
In a role unlike any she has played before, Hathaway plays Maggie Murdock, a lusty, free-spirited artist with her own ideas about love and relationships. Gyllenhaal is Jamie Randall, a notoriously charming heart-breaker and the black-sheep member of a medical, professional family.
When Viagra is released in 1996, Jamie decides to join the cut-throat world of pharmaceutical sales. He moves to the Ohio River Valley as a Sales Rep for Pfizer, where he makes his way to Chicago. This goal can’t be achieved without a little brown-nosing of doctors, sex with receptionists and other questionable methods. Desperate to prove himself and make some money, Jamie will do anything to get ahead, even shadow a doctor. In this way, Jamie meets Maggie, who is a stage one Parkinson’s victim.
Originally, Maggie seems to be one of the only women ever uninterested in Jamie. Eventually, Jamie’s charm wears her down and she agrees to a date. Neither of them is looking for anything serious, so when they get together, it seems a match made in heaven.
But as the two sex buddies start to spend more time together, primarily in the bedroom, they realize things are a more serious than either of them originally thought. The question arises: can they overcome their fears and actually commit to something?
This movie includes the conventions of romantic comedies, namely the sweet, mushy romance and the subtle underlying humor, but combines them with cruder aspects. You may remember the controversy over Hathaway and Gyllenhaal posing naked for the cover of “Entertainment Weekly.” If you thought that was bad, you haven’t seen anything yet. Maggie and Jamie have sex for probably half of the movie. You can look forward to plenty of nudity; bet you never expected to see the “Princess Diaries” star topless (quite a few times). Since this is a film based around the drug Viagra, you can guess what kind of jokes are featured.
Crudity aside, the message of this unconventional love story is a good one. This against-all-odds couple learns to trust each other and themselves. Expect to laugh and cry as Jamie and Maggie attempt to combat a degenerating disease while they fall in love for the first time. Gyllenhaal and Hathaway are pretty hilarious and definitely make Maggie and Jamie a cute couple. If you can get past the crudeness, this story will warm your heart.