Based of the best-selling book Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman by Jamie Reidy, director/producer Edward Zwick brings us the movie, Love & Other Drugs. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a charming womanizer Jamie Randall, who finds himself on the fast track in the world of pharmaceuticals trying to push his ticket to the big time, Viagra. Anne Hathaway plays Maggie Murdock, who has early onset of stage one Parkinson’s, who is very familiar with how the pharmaceutical business works and has adapted to a life of somewhat settling, because of her debilitating disease.
After a run-in with each other at the doctor’s office, Jamie seems hell-bent on seeing Maggie again. The two hit it off sexually, and then surely find themselves connecting emotionally. For the lothario, Jamie has an anxiety attack after telling Maggie that he loves her, being that it was the first time he had said it to anyone in his life.
Both Gyllenhaal and Hathaway deliver authentic emotional performances. To see both of their characters go through the emotional process of letting someone get close to them and know their flaws feels honest in their craft.
Hathaway’s performance in the film is outstanding. Her character Maggie gives off this confident, self-assured, doesn’t-take-any-kind-of-crap vibe. Yet, the first shot of her fingers twitching on her coffee mug that she quickly tucks under her arm are the audience’s indication that she’s putting up a front to keep Jamie from bringing down her emotional wall.
Hathaway delivers quite the rollercoaster of emotions, yet Gyllenhaal is no slouch either. When we first meet Jamie, he’s been fired from his job, has no real sense of direction, yet still craves for approval from his parents, since his younger brother has done well in his professional life. To see him go from this guy that just gets by on his charm and looks to a man that starts tapping into an emotional side that he didn’t realize that he had is definitely a joy to witness.