29 November 2010

Love & Other Drugs

Perscription: Boring, but Nudity

So, when I wasn’t crying at the end, I thought, Once again, I am heartless. But, I turned to my wife, who cries at Undercover Boss and Hallmark commercials, and she wasn’t crying either. That is when I knew I wasn’t emotionally broken, just bored.

Love and Other Drugs tried too hard. From Edward Zwick, the director of The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond and Glory, this was lifeless. I spent the car ride home trying to figure out where this movie went wrong. I found the following reasons.

Love & Other Drugs opens in 1996 with Jamie Randall (Gyllenhaal) is seen selling ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves, figuratively. He is smooth, suave, and says what the consumers need to hear to purchase whatever he is selling. After having relations with his boss’s girl, he is fired.

Next comes the most worthless scene in the entire film. For some reason, we are thrown into the middle of an argument/discussion about the medical industry in the Randall household. I am not sure what the point was supposed to be, but it failed. Apparently, Jamie has a brother, Josh, who did something on the internet instead of finishing med school. The patriarch is a doctor. He has a sister, who was a completely wasted character. She only appears in this waste of 5 minutes. She has no purpose. The matriarch just tells everyone to be good, or they get no chocolate cake. No joke. In the end, Josh says that he will make a call to his contact at Pfizer to see if he can get his brother a job as a drug rep.

Off to training, and a reminder of the mid-nineties. We see Jamie going through a bombardment of drug information. Finally, he is seen as fit to hit the streets of the Midwest, but not until after having relations with his trainer.

So, now we are introduced to Bruce Winston, a senior drug rep played by Oliver Platt. He tells of the promise land of Chicago. That is where the best of the best rep for Pfizer. We also meet Trey Hannigan, played by Gabriel Macht. He is the “evil” drug rep that has the ear of hank Azaria’s Dr. Stan. He stands in the way of Jamie and Bruce’s dream of Chicago. Lastly, we are humorously introduced to Anne Hathaway’s Maggie Murdock. In the trailer, she seems funny, witty, hot, and sex-addicted. In the movie, they give her an incurable disease, and she becomes annoying.

For the first hour of the movie, I was into it. It was fast paced and funny. The dialog was quick witted. The acting was decent enough. Then, right around the hour mark, the movie stalled. It slowed to a crawl. Then, it flat stopped and changed directions. The movie changed gears from the romantic comedy that it was to a melodrama. His brother, Josh, just won’t go away. He becomes too much and goes too far and flat out become a complete annoyance. He was supposed to be comedic relief, but just turned out to be a nuisance.

By the end, I did not care about the characters. The movie just dragged out for no reason. The confrontation with Trey never came to a head. The build-up to taking Chicago was a letdown. The whole movie became a letdown. When the lights came up, all the people around us were drying their eyes. I was trying not to groan. Verdict: Love and Other Drugs walks the fine line between being a movie and soft-core porn. Yet, somehow, what started off with such promise just sputtered out and finished bland. I would wait to rent this one if you feel you must see this movie.

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