This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.
If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web. Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.
October 10, 2011
Love and Other Drugs (2010)
When it's over, this film wasn't the brainless raunchy rom-com I thought it was going to be. Yes, there's plenty of sexual talk, with the "F" word being dropped several times; yes, there's a fair share of nudity; and yes, there's a string of sexual acts. However, what sets this film apart from others of it's genre is that it actually incorporates a serious issue into the plot- one of the main characters, Maggie, played by Anne Hathaway is struggling with Parkinson's disease, while at the same time trying very hard not to fall in love with Jamie, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. The disease takes the story to another level, one that holds more emotional value where there's more at stake for the two lovers. Gyllenhaal's good in this role, playing Jamie effortlessly. He's charming, while at the same time, clueless to anything other than pleasing himself, but his character does evolve and Gyllenhaal was able to bring out the vulnerability and maturity in Jamie as he made life changing decisions. Hathaway wasn't convincing enough as the tough, free spirited girl who believes she doesn't need anyone to share in her illness. Even though she worked with seniors, which I think the writer used as a way to convey Maggie's "big heart" in hopes of winning the viewer's sympathy wasn't a successful sell. I didn't actually care if Jamie stayed with Maggie or not, and at times, wondered why Jamie kept going back to her. Somehow, Maggie didn't seem worth it as a person. I didn't think there was anything truly remarkable about her character, something that would make me cheer for her. Certainly, her illness makes her character more complex, and I would have liked to see more of her anger and her "bad days" and not just one day of drunken stuper. I'm wondering if Hathaway or the writer did any research on the role. I mean, do people who are diagnosed with Parkinson's really just want to have sex all the time to forget their disease? I don't think so. Finally, when you choose to throw in a premise such as Parkinson's disease, a romantic comedy is no longer funny and should be handled with greater sensitivity.