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Movie Review: Love and Other Drugs Nearly OD's on Rom-Com Clichs

Review in a Hurry: Ridiculously beautiful commitment-phobes (Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway) suffer serious side effects from a love interaction. At first sight, Love appears to be this year's Up in the Air, but then it strictly follows the rom-com prescription and comes dangerously close to OD'ing on sap.
/ Source: E!online

Review in a Hurry: Ridiculously beautiful commitment-phobes (Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway) suffer serious side effects from a love interaction. At first sight, Love appears to be this year's Up in the Air, but then it strictly follows the rom-com prescription and comes dangerously close to OD'ing on sap.

The Bigger Picture: Disclaimer: Love contains nudity and intense carnal activity, so check with your doctor to see if your heart is healthy enough for sex scenes. Actually, the title should have been Sex &Other Drugs--not because of all the steamy action, but because love has a way of screwing things up, this film included.

Gyllenhaal stars as Jamie, a skirt-chasing charmer who trains to be a Pfizer drug rep in the late '90s. Partnering with veteran salesman Bruce (Oliver Platt), he struggles to meet quotas by schmoozing hospital staffs.

While shadowing a prominent physician (Hank Azaria), Jamie meets patient Maggie (Hathaway), a free-spirited artist with early onset Parkinson's disease. Quicker than you can say chemistry, these two hotties are playing doctor--on the floor, in bed, against the wall, etc.

Though they're averse to intimacy and relationships, little by little--and montage by montage--their hookups evolve into something more. Simultaneously, Jamie's career explodes with the release of Viagra, and sales of the little blue pill give him a big out-of-town job opportunity.

To their credit Gyllenhaal and Hathaway, having previously paired in Brokeback Mountain, generate plenty of onscreen sizzle, but also have a comfortable, credible rapport. Both excel at subtly revealing the vulnerabilities beneath their slick facades.

Josh Gad earns chuckles as Jamie's chubby misfit brother, but he's a stock rom-com character in the Jack Black vein. And you can set your watch to that most overused clich, the last-reel car chase. Where's the pill to combat predictability?

Love does provide a funny, fascinating peek into the cutthroat pharmaceutical world and the Viagra phenom, but unfortunately, that satirical edge wears off once the pic takes a traditional Hollywood path, with Hathaway as the Julia Roberts-esque girl with a disease who tames the cad.

The 180--a Second Opinion: The wonderful Jill Clayburgh, who passed away this month, makes one of her last film appearances as Jamie's mother. Check out her underrated gem Starting Over.

PHOTOS: Holiday Movie Guide!