LOVE and OTHER DRUGS (2010)

TMG Scale 9.0
Staring Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway

Let me be clear upfront.  This was an awesome movie. It worked a as great comedy, a great love story and had more great messages than I could keep track of. Ripping the irresponsible and pathetic pharmaceutical industry in America was just icing on the cake.  TMG and Joy Lynn both solidly endorse this film for every thinking and breathing person over eighteen.

Gyllenhaal plays an an overly handsome stud (in other words, plays himself) trying to shift from electronics sales to pharmaceuticals. The opening scene of Gyllenhaal as a greasy slick electronics salesman reminded me a bit of Judge Reinhold in Ruthless People (1986). While funny,  the movie quickly progresses from just laughs. [We are a bit humbled then as we watch Jill Clayburgh play in one of her last roles just two weeks before she died. Look for her in the comedy Bridesmaids in 2011.]

Gylllenhaal takes us through a terrifcally fun and sickly realistic ride through training classes for Pfizer drug reps.  TMG has seen the grotesque marketing abuse of such pharmaceutical companies and this movie only glanced the surface. The food, booze and game tickets these sales vultures buy off doctors with is staggering. It is about time Hollywood exposed them…and there was no need to exaggerate a single  bit.

Along the way Gyllenhaal fortuitously meets Hathaway’s character in a doctor’s exam room. From there, he struggles with whether making it with every woman on earth enriches his soul more than one beautiful woman and spirit—an afflicted  Parkinson’s patient played by Hathaway.  Meanwhile, Gyllenhaal’s character fights his way up the sales rungs at Pfizer and rises in popularity and income as he pushes the newly discovered Viagra. Along the way he is chided and misguided by his affectionately amoral boss played by Oliver Platt. Like viagra itself, it’s weird but it works.

TMG and Joy Lynn  never like to ruin a film for their fans. Go see it for yourself. One of the best of the year. But don’t take the kids or even young teens. The subject matter is far too advanced for a young mind decipher properly. There is also  more skin and sex than some soft porn films—from what we hear anyway.  It is totally unecessary to the many messages, romance and great comedy of this film and should be edited down for the future DVD release. But the real key here is triumph of humanity and love. This film asks us to consider that one person may actually need a person more than they need them. Irony and unfairness are a part of life. Many things in life are not fair. True love can triumph.  It can deal with, but cannot yet conquer the cruelty of a disease such as Parkinson’s. Maybe the money spent in Viagra, while possibly worthy, seems unfair by comparison. Like great movies, the director lets you deicide.

Amazingly,  this movie succeeded despite not one Mac computer filling the screen. However, cases of Bud, Bud light, Prozac and Viagra were consumed. Some real life drug and beer rep certainly made their year quota and bonus.

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