Jake Gyllenhaal shines in unusual boy meets girl tale with Anne Hathaway
First comes love, and then comes consequences. In the romantic comedy Love & Other Drugs we meet Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal) a cutthroat young businessman who will play every card at his disposal to make the sale. On the face of it he’s hardly romantic hero material, but this movie really wants to sell you a new kind of boy meets girl tale.
When Jamie meets Maggie (Irish American actress Anne Hathaway) he’s drawn to her beauty and her free spirited ways. But as a young artist, she refuses to let anything or anyone tie her down. Maggie has a secret -- she’s suffering from early onset Parkinson’s Disease.
As romantic set-ups go, this one’s fairly unusual. Perhaps that explains why it attracted two megawatt stars currently at the top of their careers to the project.
Directed by Ed Zwick, a filmmaker known more for his action adventure blockbusters like The Last Samurai (with Tom Cruise) and Blood Diamond (with Leonardo Di Caprio) Love & Other Drugs is a big budget crowd pleaser with a touching storyline at its heart.
“Ed took it to another level,” Gyllenhaal tells the Irish Voice at a press conference to promote the film on Saturday.
“I mean, Anne and I worked for eight days making Brokeback Mountain and this production lasted months. Beyond that it was our love story in this film. Sometimes there’s chemistry between people, and we just vibed from the minute we met as actors -- intellectually too.”
Complicating the will-they-won’t-they-get-together formula between the two leads is a remarkably searing portrait of American drug manufacturers (in this case Pfizer, the manufacturers of Viagra) and the kind of ethical corner cutting that goes on when profit, not people, are the bottom line.
The film pulls no punches establishing what a (excuse the pun) pill Jamie really is. Professionally and personally he’s prepared to say or do almost anything in the pursuit of his own fulfillment.
But even when he meets his all his business targets and makes the big bucks we observe how empty his victories really are. Money and casual sex, he discovers, are no match for love and commitment.
As Jamie fights against his own best nature and Maggie fights against hers, the attraction that brings them together threatens to blossom into something deeper that neither of them can handle.
Both Gyllenhaal and Hathaway are terrific in their respective roles. In fact the chemistry between them is so palpable you may wonder if their romance has spilled over into their personal lives as well.
And if the director and screenwriters had been content to let the two stars navigate their relationship, then Love & Other Drugs might have been the game-changer romance it aims to be.
Instead we also sit through an interesting but incidental takedown of the American drug industry and its machinations (would you be surprised to discover they don’t have your best interests at heart?)
- Notre Dame sues federal government again...
- Irish radio presenter suspended after anti-Isra
- Unionists regret US envoy Haass’ call for...
- Smithwick inquiry finds Irish police may...
- Caroline Kennedy “selfie” in Japan reveals...
- Married priests could well be Pope Francis'...
- Ireland wins top spot on Forbes’ Best Countries
- Why Ireland needs to give its emigrants a...
- Pope Francis calls capitalism “new tyranny”...
- Sarah Jessica Parker opens her heart to grievin