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Love & Other Drugs (2010) Print E-mail
Friday, 11 March 2011
ImageI’m not quite sure what to make of “Love & Other Drugs.”  This film will be remembered, if really remembered at all, for three things: Love, Drugs and Anne Hathaway’s body.  Let me clarify.  The “love” is the sappy, tragic romance of the film.  The “drugs” is the recapping of the pharmaceutical reps and Viagra.  The “Anne Hathaway’s Body,” well let’s just say she literally spends more time completely nude in the film than dressed.

So there you have it in a nutshell.  Jake Gyllenhaal portrays Jamie, a drug representative that is trying to push his way in doctors’ offices.  He is uncertain what to make of his life.  Though intelligent he starts the film off by working at a stereo electronics store.  His other characteristic is typical, and that is he plays the one of the charmer.  He sweet-talks his way in to every girl’s pants.

Maggie (Anne Hathaway) is an artistic girl that keeps everyone at a distance because of her debilitating illness.  She is afraid to get close to anyone in fear of getting hurt and hurting them.  Does this all sound familiar?  Can you see where this is going?  No?  Well, boy meets girl but seeing her naked in a doctor’s office, girl is angry with boy for posing as a doctor, boy is infatuated with girl, girl plays hard to get, girl succumbs, boy and girl live happily as a no-strings-attached couple, boy really falls for girl, girl pushes him away, boy and girl reunite.  That about sums it up.

The film is only original in that it pits two different films together, and only moderately successfully.  The film is torn between wanted only to deal with the drug industry and wanting to be that weepy romance film.  The filmmakers use “comedy” to tie them together.  Still, the film does have a progression that takes us on a journey.  The progression is slower than it probably should have been.  There are lengthy pillow talk conversations that don’t really lead anywhere.
The performances are decent.  Hathaway even joked at the Oscars that it used to be that you got naked in a movie you got nominated.  I’m not sure when that has been the case, but films like this don’t get nominated for Oscars and for good reason.  This a film that serves as a filler to the truly monumental films of the year.  “Love & Other Drugs” came and went.

Fox continues to release some of the best looking Blu-ray discs, giving Disney a run for their money.  “Love & Other Drugs” is no exception.  The film’s video quality is natural and pleasant.  Colors are warm and inviting, except for those cold, snowy sequences.  Black levels are deep and provide excellent shadow delineation.  The fleshtones, and I’m not just talking about facial tones here, are balanced and convincing.  There are no signs of any digital tampering as the film grain remains in tact.  There are also no noticeable artifacts or compression issues.  For the genre of film, this video quality will certainly surprise you, for the better that is.

The audio is more of the standard when it comes to the genre.  There is some surround sound usage, but generally it is just bled music or simple ambience.  Ambience in the surrounds is decent, though most won’t even notice whether it is there or not.  The dialogue is the star here.  It remains front and center and nicely balanced.  The stereo width of the front channels is fairly good.  The LFE channel is primarily absent, relying mainly on bass management.  The dynamics are typical for the genre.  And that is what this audio quality comes down, typical for the type of film.
The Blu-ray disc comes with a few deleted scenes that don’t add any value.  “Beautifully Complex: Anne Hathaway Is Maggie” is a study of Anne’s character.  Likewise, “Reformed Womanizer: Jake Gyllenhaal Is Jaime” is a study of Jake’s character.  “Love & Other Drugs: An Actor’s Discussion” is a brief chat with the stars and director about working together.  “Selling Love & Other Drugs” is a three-minute segment about the real Jaime.  Lastly, there is a trailer, BD-Live functionality and a Digital Copy disc.

“Love & Other Drugs” is not going to be at the top of everyone’s list.  Couples may find it enjoyable, but it doesn’t offer much in the way of new storylines.  As a Blu-ray disc that audio and video qualities far exceeded my expectations.  I recommend at least renting this title.

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