Mini Reviews: Love And Other Drugs and The Dilemma

Love And Other Drugs

I am not the biggest fan of the rom/com genre, however occasionally a film of the sort comes along and it plays it a little differently and it doesn’t feel like the same film. Love And Other Drugs was that for me, while it still had some of those typical cliques it came off as different and fresh. The film takes place in 1996, and we are introduced to our main character Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal). He’s a smooth sales man who gets fired from his job after doing the nasty with the owner’s wife. He moves on to become a drug rep for Pfizer, where he needs to push Zoloft (like Prozac). This leads him to try and score a deal with a Doctor’s office, where he meets Maggie (Anna Hathaway) who suffers from parkinson’s disease. The two find they have an instant connection, and begin the no strings attached sex. Of course as they get to know each other they begin to fall for each other, and complications get in the way.
The film tries to take a different approach, giving us a setting some 14 years ago and having two very different main characters. Maggie suffers from parkinson’s and the film does not mock this at all, but in stead tries to make her feel like a real person. Jamie is a charming guy, and he’s throw into a big situation (he eventually gets a hold of viagra and becomes the man to go to), and he has the most to learn from everything. Both Jake and Anne work well together (they played a married couple in Brokeback Mountain), they have a natural chemistry and it’s fun seeing them together. It works so well because of these two capable leads and they definitely bring more to the table than what was written. This rises above the usual fair, it’s a little different and it doesn’t feel run of the mill. The supporting cast are good as well, and decent support for the leads, and seeing either of them show off their bodies isn’t too bad either. Love And Other Drugs is a fine film, and something I am happy to have invested my time in.
| Purchase on DVD | Purchase on Bluray |

The Dilemma

I’ll be honest, the trailers for this film really turned me off. It looked like a silly and annoying film and all the more shocking, it was a rom/com type directed by the awesome Ron Howard. I went in with extremely low expectations, and I sat down earlier this year and saw this at the cinema as a family outing. I was quite surprised to find that this wasn’t the disaster I was expecting and it was good. I recently caught it again, and my feelings remain the same, it is a slightly above average fair and easy to sit through. The premise is simple enough, with two best friends Ronny (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Kevin James in the best role I’ve seen him in) who are auto designers and they score a big potential contract. Ronny is in a stable relationship with Beth (Jennifer Connelly) and he idolises the marriage Nick has with his wife Geneva (Winona Ryder). Things go south for Ronny when he accidentally sees Geneva cheating on Nick with a young man named Zip (Channing Tatum), he faces the dilemma of telling Nick or attempting to catch Geneva in the act to prove it. Nick is especially under pressure to deliver this design so they can secure this contract and Ronny finds it difficult to hurt his friend. This causes tension between Ronny and Beth as she begins to suspect the former gambling addict has gone back to his old ways.
I liked that this film had this central premise of man finds out his best friend’s wife is cheating, but adds in a whole new level of layers. They have job pressures on top of this, and Ronny’s dilemma becomes all the more grand. Where you can easily make the assumption you should tell your friend, at the same time you can see why Ronny fights with this. It is definitely a departure for Howard, unlike it was advertised this is not a rom/com, it is a drama/comedy and those elements really come together rather well. The four central actors do a pretty decent job, with Winona Ryder being the stand out. This is certainly something different from her, she looks great and she can play bitch perfectly. Connelly didn’t have a huge role, but she is capable and always good to see. Kevin James is an actor I can’t stand (I can thank Adam Sandler for that), however being away from his usual thing and having a decent script/cast/director to work with he isn’t bad. I’d rather see him in roles like this as opposed to The Zookeeper or Paul Blart. Vince Vaughn is an actor I have been a fan of since 1995’s Swingers, and he’s starting to look better now than he has and he gives a rather good performance. This isn’t the greatest film out there, but it is a decent watch.
| Purchase on DVD | Purchase on Bluray |

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