Wednesday, 29 December 2010

REVIEW: Love And Other Drugs

Insert your joke about naked A-listers here.

I think Love And Other Drugs kind of won me over, with reservations. I was expecting a mash-up between formulaic romantic comedy and mawkish illness melodrama, and that's pretty much what I got I suppose, although things were executed a little more eloquently then I expected. Sure old man director Edward Zwick was a little bit Dad trying to break dance with the film's visual style. But the writing felt a little more world weary and a little less dough-eyed, and Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal were very good. Particularly Hathaway, who's nothing short of excellent and whose performance belongs in a better film.

Even though its only really half a romantic comedy, I think its still pretty much the best the genre had to offer this year. Both of its leads are funny, both of its leads have fairly well drawn characters and they had good chemistry together, feeling like an actual couple and not in that usual stick two attractive people in a room and surely sparks must fly approach that never works. Its romance is credible, so it makes the jokes a little funnier and the inevitable scenes of heart-pouring a little truer. I would say in the last third cliches start getting hit a little too hard, problems are created because its about time the couple get broken up artificially so we can get a great reunion scene at the end. But Gyllenhaal and Hathaway make watching these familiar beats more tolerable. Hathaway has quietly turned into one of the best actresses of her generation in the last couple of years or so, from Rachel Getting Married on down. She doesn't always make the best films but is always viable and charming in them. And Gyllenhaal, he's one of those people whose talent always exceeds what people expect on account of his looks, and this just pisses me off raw.

Love And Other Drugs is far from a perfect film. It seeps into melodrama a little too often, it can be a little aimless and its attempts at corporate satire in regards to the healthcare industry pretty much fall flat, but taken as a film about a relationship which I think it tried to be more then anything else, it succeeds because for ones in these damn romantic comedies, I was engaged in it. And that was a rare and pleasant feeling.

Rating: 6/10

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