Love & Other Drugs Never Recovers from an Identity Crisis
- Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Much like the corporate Lone Ranger that George Clooney played so well in the aforementioned Up in the Air, Jamie and Maggie are enrolled in the education of what makes successful relationships work. And through trial and error, they eventually learn what true love requires as the film dramatically segues into dreaded Lifetime made-for-TV territory.
Unfortunately, the viewer has to wade through a whole ‘lotta muck to actually experience Jamie and Maggie's transformation. In stark contrast to most modern romantic comedies where the camera cuts away before things get too crazy-sexual, Love & Other Drugs leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination. Sure, some will inevitably chalk that up to being "edgy" or "authentic," but all that skin only cheapens the film's underlying lesson of what true intimacy is all about.
Drugs/Alcohol: Social drinking, cigarette smoking, plus marijuana is used recreationally. Given Jamie's occupation, there is also much discussion of prescription drugs including depression meds and Viagra.
Language/Profanity: A non-stop stream of four-letter words throughout with the "f" word being the script's personal favorite. There are also several uses of s--t, da--, a--, bit-- and instances where the Lord's name is taken in vain. Crude words with a sexual connotation are also used frequently including cu--, pu--- and di--.
Sex/Nudity: Of all the movies I've reviewed, including both big-screen installments of Sex and the City, there's probably never been this much sexual content and nudity crammed into an R-rated film. In fact, both Hathaway and Gyllenhaal have admitted in recent interviews that Love & Other Drugs is particularly "racy." And they aren't kidding. The protagonists spend a good chunk of the film naked. There are several graphic sex scenes where Hathaway's breasts and Gyllenhaal's backside are on full display. In one scene, Hathaway is briefly shown full frontal. Jamie's brother (Josh Gad) is also shown masturbating while a black and white video of his brother and Maggie having sex plays in the background. During a "pajama party," Jake is "entertained" by two women who make out with each other first. At the same party, Jamie's brother is caught hooking up with the partygoer who let him touch her breasts (she takes her top off on-screen, and the sex scene is pretty gritty). Jamie is briefly hospitalized for the four-hour occurrence that men are always warned about in Viagra commercials.
Violence: Trey (Gabriel Macht) beats up Jamie once he discovers he's throwing away his Prozac samples and replacing them with Zoloft, the drug he's pushing.
Christa Banister is a full-time freelancer writer, specializing in music, movies and books-related reviews and interviews and is the author of two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers. Based in Dallas, Texas, she also weighs in on various aspects of pop culture on her personal blog.
For more information, including her upcoming book signings and sample chapters of her novels, check out her Website.
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