by Lorie Lewis Ham
Love and Other Drugs is rated R for nudity and sexual content and I’d have to say I’ve never seen a movie that lived up to that rating more fully. And yet, hidden amidst all of that was the surprise of one of the best love stories I have ever seen.
Jake Gyllenhaal plays Jamie Randall, a pharmaceutical salesman on his way to the top, who becomes very successful when the drug Viagra is released. His lifestyle is loose and simple—he charms and sleeps with almost every girl he meets with no desire to be tied down. Then he meets Maggie played by Anne Hathaway who is a 26-year-old artist with Parkinson’s. She too refuses to be tied down and once he gets her attention they seem a perfect match—neither wanting anything more from each other than sex and a momentary distraction.
During maybe the first half of the movie this seems like any other R rated romantic comedy and not really my cup of tea, with the exception of the fine acting from the leads and the supporting actors Oliver Platt, Hank Azaria, and Josh Gad. But then things take a surprising turn—sure you expect them to fall in love, that’s what happens in romantic comedies, but you don’t expect the turn that love takes in this movie. Having a father with Parkinson’s I’ve seen its devastation—this reality is portrayed well and realistically, and how it affects their love touches your heart. This movie goes from a fun romp to one of the most heart-wrenching stories of love I have ever seen.
I would definitely not recommend this movie to anyone under 17, and if you are offended by sex and nudity, you may want to take a pass on this one because there is a LOT—it was a bit much for me as well. However, I am glad I kept watching because the story in the end is absolutely beautiful. Be prepared to cry.
Love and Other Drugs is now playing at Dinuba Platinum Theatres 6. Showtimes can be found on their website.