"Love and Other Drugs" Blu-ray Review
March 21, 2011 by Zach Demeter
Experience the wonders of love when physical chemistry between two of today’s hottest stars explodes onscreen! Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment presents the romantic drama LOVE & OTHER DRUGS, arriving on Blu-ray and DVD on March 1st, 2011. From director/producer Edward Zwick and based on the best-selling book Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman by Jamie Reidy, LOVE & OTHER DRUGS takes aim with Cupid’s arrow when love is found in the unlikeliest of places!
Smooth-talking playboy Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain) is on a fast track to the top of the pharmaceutical sales industry – promoting the miracle drug Viagra by day and charming the ladies by night. However, Jamie is taken aback when he meets Maggie Murdock (Academy Award-nominee Anne Hathaway, The Devil Wears Prada), a radiantly sexy free spirit who doesn’t allow her treatment for Parkinson’s get in the way of living her life. As Jamie and Maggie juggle their respective medications, they are forced to reassess their budding romance when they realize that love is the ultimate high.
The romantic/comedy/drama that falls into the R-rated category is a tough one. They’re inherently more adult not just because of the subject matter or nudity, but simply because they often explore themes are much more mature than the average PG-13 affair. For instance in this film you have a much more mature relationship between our leads; while they may be young, they’re dealing with issues that are much more serious than the standard stuff you get from other films in the genre that don’t quite push as hard. What this basically amounts to is a much more mature film through and through; yes, there is a lot of sex and nudity and some may find that notion immature, but only those that do will see this film as less than what it is—a competent, real-world, grounded in reality film that is, for the most part, something you could actually relate to.
This isn’t to say the film is perfect by any means; in fact it is very flawed. There are mediocre story elements (often involving the brother of Gyllenhaal’s character) that take away from the overall experience, but the story between Jamie and Maggie is a relatively sweet one. It does resolve in the way you expect it to with these types of films, but the cause of the break up wasn’t something mundane about a misunderstanding or miscommunication; the trepidation Jamie’s character feels about the relationship and his job are all very human and that alone is probably what sets the film apart from the rest of the pack. Of course having said all of that the rest of the film is very much cookie cutter, which is both a shame and wholly expected.
I will say that the characters in the film are pretty engaging for the most part. Whether it’s the straight shooting Hank Azara or the slightly aloof but always entertaining Anne Hathaway, this film is pretty staggered in terms of cast and likeability. Gyllenhaal is always an interesting mix because he’s played such a wide variety of characters over the years so you never know what to expect from him. The rest of the cast is mostly enjoyable as well, aside from the aforementioned brother in the film, played by Josh Gad. It’s not that I don’t like the actor, it’s just his character here was kind of a douche.
Overall Love and Other Drugs is an entertaining film for the most part as the characters are likable for the most part; but there’s just that same air of familiarity that keeps the film from really being all that engaging over any other number of romantic comedy/drama’s out there. It certainly isn’t a bad film, but it also just isn’t all that original when all is said and done. Worth a Rental.
Fox releases Love and Other Drugs in single disc Elite Blu-ray case without any fancy frills about it. Menus are simple and easy to navigate and…well, that’s it. The AVC encoded presentation accurately portrays the films generally upbeat and sunny visuals, which means that you get quite a bit of natural lighting to illuminate the scenes. Amidst all that is an incredible amount of detail on faces, clothing, skin, buildings, outdoors…pretty much any surface or texture you can think of is accurately represented here in impeccable detail. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix is pretty quiet in the surrounds, but delivers all of the dialogue out of the front channels with extreme clarity. It’s a fairly quiet film so don’t expect a reawakening of your home theater setup with this one—though the clarity that Blu-ray offers in both the audio and visual department is still a boon to have.
• Funny Extended Deleted Scenes (7:31, 1080p)
• Actor’s Discussion: The Relationship Between Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway (8:01, 1080p)
• Beautifully Complex: Anne Hathaway Describes Maggie (2:57, 1080p)
• Reformed Womanizer: Jake Gyllenhaal is Jamie (3:34, 1080p)
• Selling Love & Other Drugs (3:10, 1080p)
Of course every movie I watch and/or review I want to want to watch the extras…but on this one I just didn’t. Thankfully neither did fox because, as you can see, there isn’t much of anything to watch anyway. The featurettes/deleted scenes aren’t bad by any means, but it’s really just kind of a mundane docket for a pretty basic film. A commentary by director Edward Zwick would’ve been nice, but I guess since the film kind of just floated around at the box office, there wasn’t a lot of effort put forth to make this a stronger package.
Overall a disc that’s a strict Rental and nothing more unless you’re a huge fan of the actors involved here. Admittedly it’s a pretty strong cast to be fans of, but in the end I doubt this is a film you’ll revisit more than once—romantic comedy/drama’s are much more difficult to pick up again and watch than the straight up comedic PG-13 ones we’re inundated with all year long.
Love and Other Drugs is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.