Love and Other Drugs (2010)

Rated R. Our ratings: V-1 ; L-3 ; S/N-7. Running time: 1 hour 52 min.

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death,
passion fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
a raging flame.
Song of Solomon 8:6

In this comedy/drama Maggie and Jamie s interest in each other moves beyond sex.

2010 20th Century Fox

Edward Zwick’s film had a strange effect on me in that although several scenes seemed powerful at the time, the film as a whole made such little impression upon my memory that I started to go see it again.

(Okay, so that probably reveals more about the sad estate of my memory than the film!)

The film takes place during the 90s when Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal) is starting his career selling drugs for Pfizer. To the consternation of his veteran partner Bruce Winston (Oliver Platt) he does not do well, although he is good at ingratiating himself with doctors’ receptionists. Then comes Viagra, and Dr. Stan Knight (Hank Azaria) becomes a prime customer, boosting Jamie’s success.

The salesman also becomes interested in one of the doctor’s patients Maggie (Anne Hathaway). However, she has been diagnosed as having Parkinson’s disease, so at first she is not interested in a deep relationship (nor was Jamie until he met her). Thus she pairs off sexually with Jamie probably because he is physically desirable but seemingly so shallow that their relationship won’t matter. Of course, it eventually does, and… The film mixes some low brow humor (Jamie’s oafish younger brother, Josh {Josh Gad} lives with him, interrupting a passionate tryst); a bit of social satire exposing tactics employed by drug reps and the greed of doctors who accept expensive gifts from the companies; and a touch of medical melodrama—one brief scene in which a husband describes his caring for his wife with Parkinson’s for 23 years is especially moving. The naked love scenes will be off-putting for most church groups, though young adults might have little trouble with it. This is a very flawed film, but worth your time and money (again, I’d recommend a cheap seat theater).