Great chemistry in romantic drama

Love & Other Drugs 20th Century Fox Rating: 18A 112 minutes

There is much to admire in Love & Other Drugs, especially Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal as the leads. Unfortunately too much of the plotting depends on boring Hollywood standard clichés.

Hathaway, as a young artist, and Gyllenhaal, as a charming, occasionally sleazy, drug salesman, meet when he pretends to be an intern with a friendly doctor looking at a spider bite on Hathaway’s breast.

Despite this they are soon tearing each other’s clothes off and having passionate movie sex. They become a couple and all is well except for the fact that she has early-onset Parkinson’s.

The movie then follows the predictable melodramatic Love Story pattern as they suffer and anguish over her serious medical condition and their relationship before the Hollywood ending.

However, that said, the movie is well served by Gyllenhaal and Hathaway. They have great chemistry (and great bodies, which we get to see a lot of, hence the 18A rating) and there is a fine supporting cast headed by Oliver Platt, and even the late Jill Clayburgh and George Segal as Gyllenhaal’s parents.

Director Edward Zwick is much better known for his stirring military action movies like Glory and The Last Samurai, but he brings the same zeal and ability to pack a lot of happenings into this romantic comedy/drama.

Incidentally, the movie is set in 1996, just as Viagra is invented and comically gives Gyllenhaal’s drug sales a tremendous boost.

Rating: three deer out of five

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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.

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