“Love & Other Drugs” or “Treachery, Thy Name Is Jake Gyllenhaal” by Matilda Dixon-Smith

Posted on February 10, 2011


Ooh, they are good. They’re crafty, these movie-making types.

Edward Zwick, how DARE you put Jake Gyllenhaal, frequently naked, in your film! Where do you get off giving Anne Hathaway Parkinson’s Disease? I am outraged – outraged because I just couldn’t resist the manufactured charm of Love & Other Drugs. I feel sick, and a little dirty.


They're in bed. Mhmmm, crafty.

So Jake Gyllenhaal (otherwise known as The Possible-Love-Of-My-Life) is a slick, charming, womanising sales rep. He is hot. He gets a lot of women. He is better than fat slobs. He can sell a mobile phone to a granny in 1996. This is what Zwick tells us in the opening sequence. After his luck runs out in the electronics game, Jamie Randall (Gyllenhaal) tries his hand at pharmaceutical sales. He is moved out to Ohio (ugh, right?) and boss company Pfizer charges him with convincing doctors to prescribe the anti-depressant Zoloft instead of popular competing drug Prozac. Even I’ve heard of Prozac before, so it appears Jamie’s charge is a tough one. To get the job done, he attempts to charm doctors and woo receptionists by buying them flowers then nailing them. While harassing Dr. Hank Azaria about Zoloft, Jamie cute-meets savvy Parkinson’s patient Maggie Murdock (Anne Hathaway). He cute-meets THE HECK OUT OF HER, then stares at her boobs.



Maggie and Jamie start having sex. Lots of sex. On the floor. In an alley (very King’s Cross). In bed. At her work (EW!!) Whilst having sex they talk about how they’re both emotionally crippled and THEY ALSO KIND OF FALL IN LOVE. This is not good. Jamie doesn’t want to fall in love. Maggie totally already said she doesn’t want to fall in love. Oh dear. When Jamie starts selling Viagra (a new drug for Pfizer in 1998), he hits it big time – but problem! He and Maggie are STILL FALLING IN LOVE. The two must work through their unexpected and complicated feelings for one another, with the added complication of the realities of Maggie’s illness.


Chemistry, people. That's called chemistry.

It’s just not fair to have two people as attractive and engaging as Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal in a movie like this. Without them, it would be a second-rate, corny attempt at a hard-hitting truth/romantic-comedy flick (in the style of excellent films such as the quirky, affirming Thank You For Smoking or the bleak but charming Up In The Air). Jake’s piercing blue eyes and excellent eyebrows melt into Anne Hathaway’s brown doe-eyed, slightly sardonic gaze. They both have kickin’ bods (which you see, you know, because of all the sex) and appealing, witty personalities. Except, I suspect that if the accomplished and well-matched pair weren’t playing Jamie and Maggie, he would be a douche and she would be a cardboard cut-out of a ballsy modern woman. I mean, Anne Hathaway! There are very few women I can tolerate in romantic roles (Katherine Heigel, the world’s best one-note neurotic BAD AMBASSADOR for women, I’m looking at YOU). Hathaway, however, is breathtaking. Jake, well, he is Jake. He is BABE-A-LICIOUS.


Anne being suuuuper bohemian. Still, stunning.

Look, this is definitely high-brow in terms of romance flicks at present (When In Rome, anyone?). There are some stand-out moments, like Maggie’s over-played but hilarious puns about the Viagra drug, or the portrayal of Jake’s quirky family (a REAL quirky family, which serves to show us to why he is such an emotional screwball). The ending is painfully twee, and I cringed as Jake spouted his last running-through-the-airport-style speech. However, this film is clever. It’s a combination – of Anne and Jake, the wide-reaching humour, the “ooh, controversial” sex-appaloosa, the disease stuff, and that slightly mocking mouth it’s got on it – that works. This is where you get so manipulated. Zwick, you bastard.


I was a little late in the game so this is almost out of cinemas, but try and catch Love & Other Drugs if you’re in the mood for being sucked in.

Posted in: Movies