The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-Love and Other Drugs

By Joshua Knopp/entertainment editor

Layers within a film are normally a good thing, but Love and Other Drugs is really a handful of movies playing out a debilitating identity crisis.

Set in 1996 to chronicle the rise of Zoloft and Viagra, the movie follows Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal) in his romantic endeavors with Maggie Murdock (Anne Hathaway), who suffers from early-onset Parkinson’s disease.

The film begins as a romance, introducing Gyllenhaal and Hathaway as blatant stock characters whose one-night stand develops into a relationship. Save the over-aggressive nudity, this film features nothing of note and is rather predictable.

But with any mainstream romance comes comedy. Josh Randall (Josh Gad) steps in as a millionaire who inexplicably sleeps on his brother’s couch and adds flavor as yet another stock character. This film is basically just a bridge between scenes of over-aggressive nudity.

With any mainstream romance also comes drama. Hathaway’s disease provides most of the drama, putting a strain and apparent time limit on her relationship with Gyllenhaal. Like the comedy, this film also yields to romance and feeds into its predictability.

But while romance, comedy and drama can all exist in the same scene, Love and Other Drugs throws period piece into the mix of genres. Gyllenhaal’s character is a salesman for Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company behind Zoloft and Viagra. This film comes complete with a partner (Oliver Platt), a rival (Gabriel Macht) and a doctor (Hank Azaria) but is fresh and intriguing in spite of this. 

The period piece aspect of Love and Other Drugs effectively topples a card pyramid of other aspects. The movie just can’t be everything it wants to be at the same time. It jerks from romantic comedy to period piece to romantic comedy to drama to romantic comedy to period piece to drama to an extremely uninspired voiceover finish.

The instability of tone and genre cripple the film. Audiences are bound to like certain parts of it and sleep through others. Whatever aspect particular audience members appreciate, they can find better movies.

Final take: A movie with multiple personalities

Those who would enjoy it: Jake Gyllenhaal fans, Anne Hathaway fans

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian