Monday, January 31, 2011

Love and other drugs

I have a serious issue with the way in which Hollywood promotes their movies, especially when posters and trailers create a specific and unrealistic idea of a film, for the sole purpose of generating misguided interest. 'Love and other drugs' is the latest victim of Hollywood's marketing curse, made apparent to me when I realised that I was indeed part of the only non-couple group in the cinema. So, before you get the chance to wonder about this point further: No, this movie is not another run of the mill romantic comedy – it is in fact, much more than that (thank God).

Director Edward Zwick is well known for his epic adventure films like Blood Diamond, Legends of the fall and the Last Samurai, something that should already give you an idea that this movie will probably not be what you're expecting it to be. In this film, Zwick takes a break from his normal material, as he focusses on explaining his opinion of love and relationships, giving viewers a surprisingly realistic and quite hard to swallow look at the emotions that drives most of mankind's actions. In fact, the whole movie has a kind of sombre, almost depressing tone to it, as characters always seem to be more confused and alone, the more in-love they become. Also, don't expect any huge laughs with this one, as the comedy is kept to a noticeable minimum.

"In fact, the whole movie has a kind of sombre, almost depressing tone to it, as characters always seem to be more confused and alone, the more in-love they become."

The few laughs that do occur are all unfortunately wasted on a sad, uninteresting character, whose only real function in the movie is to make the protagonist, played by Jake Gyllenhaal look a tad better than he is. The rest of the performances are all luckily almost spot-on, with excellent chemistry and stage presence between Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway – Hathaway's performance is especially poignant and hard-hitting, as she is rightfully deserving of all the award mentions she is getting for this one.

The movie's major flaw only appears close to the end, as the director sadly and dumbly decides to revert back to the overused mechanics of your typical rom-com, with an ending that seems to have been taken right out of a Disney direct-to-DVD shelf filler. The uninspired and painfully cheesy soundtrack also doesn't help, creating the feeling that you have been suckered into expecting this film will not end like Lassie or that film about the Killer whale. Nonetheless, the film's fresh approach still make it more than worth watching and even with the soppy ending, gives its viewers a hard look at the sacrficies men and women are wiling to make for their better halves.

If the interesting approach doesn't sell the movie for you, please also consider the longish runtime, filled up with numerous scenes of nudity and a decent amount of profanity – what's not to like? 

Highlight: Watching Jake Gyllenhaal get punched in the stomach as well as the scene where Hathaway shows her boob (singular intended).

The only non-porno image I could find...

Rating: 3-and-a-half Meerkat Tails