Love and Other Drugs

Rated 4.0

Love and Other Drugs is being promoted as a sexy romantic comedy, and it makes good on that promise. But it also has several other movies, or parts of them, rattling around in it. In the early going, it’s a screwball romance between two smart, fast-talking, hyper-energetic characters—go-getter pharmaceutical salesman Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal) and spunky artist Maggie Murdock (Anne Hathaway). But even before those two first meet up, the movie is dabbling in satire—on sexed-up salesmanship and commercialism in the pharmaceutical industry. The film also takes on a potentially disruptive element of medical melodrama—Maggie is beset with Parkinson’s disease. Plus, the setting is the mid-1990s, which means that instant millionaires and the advent of Viagra become part of the story as well. The various shifts of direction and tone are mildly disconcerting, but they also become part of what is unusual and intriguing in this brisk little film. And it helps a lot that Gyllenhaal and Hathaway bring goodly amounts of exuberance and conviction to the peculiar mixtures of irony and romance concocted here by filmmaker Edward Zwick. Cinemark 14. Rated R