Edward Zwick, the man who brought us films like Glory, Blood Diamond, The Last Samurai and Defiance, brings us Love And Other Drugs, a vast departure from the type of films we usually see from him. Based on the non-fiction book, Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman by Jamie Reidy, Zwick takes us into the romantic dramedy area with his latest film. Starring the always likeable Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, whose star is quickly rising, Zwick has two bankable actors to rest the film on. But how does it all turn out? Check out our review and see for yourself.
The film follows Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal), a smooth talking ladies man who works as a medical representative for Pfizer in the world of pharmaceutical sales. His job is going around to various doctors, trying to convince them to prescribe Zoloft and Zithromax. Being the lady killer he is, he’s quite good at his job. Easily working receptionists and secretaries to allow them to let him have access to their doctors. One day while trying to get a doctor to switch to Zoloft instead of Prozac, he meets Maggie Murdock (Anne Hathaway), a free spirited woman who is suffering from early onset of Parkinson’s disease. Turning on his charm, he is able to arrange a date with her and their relationship grows from there. As they become closer, they realize that they may be suffering from the ultimate drug, love. And this presents a problem since Maggie has Parkinsons, and it’s only getting worse.
Check out the rest of our Love and Other Drugs theatrical review.
Although this isn’t a film that particularly benefits from a Blu-Ray transfer, like most of Fox’s releases, it does look quite good. The image carries a very rich look that beautifully brings out the photogenic faces of the lead actors. There is also a wonderful sense of clarity and it carries on throughout the entire film. Skintones are also perfectly balanced, which is good since there is quite a bit of skin here.
On the audio side, things are equally as strong. Like the video, being a romantic comedy, the film doesn’t really benefit from a Blu-Ray audio transfer but things still sound fine. There are no speaker shaking moments and your surrounds won’t get a workout, but everything here is acceptable. Dialogue is clean and reproduced nicely and the great 90’s soundtrack comes through smoothly and energetic. Ambience sounds are also placed well throughout and help to engage the viewer. As I said before, pretty run of the mill for this type of film. Well done but nothing groundbreaking.
Special features are quite weak, here’s what we get.
- Deleted Scenes
- Love & Other Drugs: An Actor’s Discussion
- Beautifully Complex: Anne Hathaway is Maggie
- Reformed Womanizer: Jake Gyllenhaal is Jamie
- Selling Love & Other Drugs 3 min
- Theatrical Trailer
- BD-Live Exclusive: Jake’s Favorite Scene
So quite frankly, the special features suck. The four featurettes total up to about 18 minutes and aren’t terribly interesting. In Love and Other Drugs: An Actor’s Discussion, Jake and Anne talk about working together, their characters and what the film is about to them. Director Ed Zwick also weighs in and tells us why Jake and Anne were right for the film. All very standard stuff. Beautifully Complex and Reformed Womanizer are two featurettes that have Jake and Anne once again talking about their character for a few minutes. The final feature, Selling Love and Other Drugs, is about Jamie Reidy, who wrote the book that the film is based upon. Overall, nothing here is terribly interesting but to be fair, you wouldn’t exactly buy a film like this for the special features. So perhaps it’s not a huge issue.
So in the end, Love And Other Drugs ultimately amounts to a confused, yet still enjoyable film. The uncertainty of the film’s direction can be a bit distracting and when it does fall into cliche it gets annoying. Luckily though, Jake and Anne, and the entire supporting cast offer great performances and there are some very funny moments along the way. I’m a guy, and I don’t enjoy romantic comedies. This one though, I actually was ok with. Like I said before, it won’t garner any acclaim but it’s a good watch for a date or on a rainy day. Give it a rent, at the very least, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Love and Other Drugs is very funny at times and Jake and Anne are great together, exuding wonderful chemistry.