Love and Other Drugs gives chick flicks a good name. It follows one of the standard tropes: callow male (Jake Gyllenhaal) saved by the love of a good woman (Anne Hathaway). He’s a womanizing pharmaceutical rep; she’s a free-spirited bohemian. And—don’t cringe—she’s sick, with the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, all the better to make him really man up. It’s Love Story in a breezy, rom-com package.
Sounds horrible, right? And yet. . .Love and Other Drugs manages to work, partly because of the near-supernatural charm of its two leads, partly because the script has a genuinely intriguing subplot about the war between Prozac and Zoloft (which became a moot point when Pfizer, the company that makes Zoloft, invented Viagra), and largely because the film is, well, sexy as hell.
Sometimes when I review a movie it’s as simple as this: I enjoyed the heck out of Love and Other Drugs and I think you will, too. Upon reflection, does Jake Gyllenhaal’s Jamie really need a slovenly brother to provide cheap, frat-ish jokes? No. Does the film really need to take a turn for the mawkish when Hathaway’s Maggie visits a Parkinson’s support group in Chicago? Probably not.
But here’s a little movie secret for ya: Watching beautiful people overcome obstacles and fall in love is fun. Always has been, and—spoiler alert!—always will be.