‘Love and Other Drugs’ DVD Review

Director: Edward Zwick

Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hank Azaria, Oliver Platt, Judy Greer

Plot: A career orientated guy and an arty girl get together for some shagging but come to realise that they may have deeper feelings for each other.

Review: I fracking hate romantic comedies. In no other genre do you find such insipid characters, pointless plots or unimaginative, formulaic film-making. Just to rub salt into the wound, it’s the genre that attracts the least likable actors. Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey…these are people I don’t want to spent my leisure time looking at.

It is possibly due to this low expectation that I actually enjoyed this movie. Sure, it ticks all the boxes – quirky arty girl, attempts to redefine the ‘relationship’ expectations, guy running after the girl both literally and metaphorically at the end to win her over with a cornball speech, but there was much more at work here than your typical sugar-coated romcom.

For one thing, the characters felt real. Not that Sandra Bullock real where she has a perfect job, is attractive and has a seemingly endless wardrobe of designer clothing to wear to coffee shops with her quirky gay friends BUT she’s also clumsy and single, ergo realistic, but actually like real people. The characters are developed and layered when they’re introduced and change over time, just like real people do and although the shift between the high-energy first act and the more dramatic second act is a bit sudden, it never feels gimmicky. Maggie (Hathaway) suffers from Parkinson’s which adds more to the relationship yet avoids the gimmicky nonsense most romantic films feel is required, while Jamie (Gyllenhaal) responds in a human way, right or wrong.

Yeah, the ending is cheesy as all hell (he stands there and says “You.” three times in a row) but the film as a whole is very enjoyable. Plus it ended with a Regina Spektor song, and I can’t dislike any movie that does that. It’s against the law. And if it appeals to you, Gyllenhaal and Hathaway show as much skin as humanly possible with an MA rating.