Film & TV

"Love & Other Drugs" Stoops Even to Spin Doctors to Keep You Entertained

From a jaunty Spin Doctors-scored opening to a teary, Regina Spektor-cued finale, Love and Other Drugs will switch to any style, station, or frequency to keep you entertained. Or at least not bored. (Maybe awake?) The most egregious four-quadrant pander-party of the year, Ed Zwick's latest middlebrow atrocity has been so carefully market-tested — crudeness counteracts romance; slapstick leavens disease-of-the-week melodrama — that it needn't even be seen, just administered directly into the bloody mainstream. Cuddly cubby bear Jake Gyllenhaal plays Jamie Randall, an underachieving late-1990s rich kid who learns to channel his sex drive into pimping pharmaceuticals for Pfizer. He hands out Zoloft and Viagra samples between strategic lays before finding his true calling in the company and care of Anne Hathaway's eagerly proffered breasts. Jamie and prescription-med-junkie Maggie fuck until they make love, then break up/make up over her early-onset Parkinson's. Watching two ripe and fearless young stars nakedly cavort ought to be titillating, but Gyllenhaal and Hathaway are so overexposed here that you feel embarrassed for them. Meanwhile, Jamie's incongruous brother, Josh (Josh Gad, a poor man's Jonah Hill — which is more impoverishment than I thought possible), is crashed on the couch to counteract adulthood with jerk-off jokes. Buried somewhere in Zwick's film might be a topical modern romance, maybe even a health-care satire, but you'd need to dig past layers of creative desperation to find it.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Eric Hynes