Love & Other Drugs

Bomb Rating: 

Both independent and Hollywood films have, over the past few years, fallen in love with the concept of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. The MPDG swoops into a protagonist's life – think Natalie Portman in Garden State, or Kirsten Dunst in Elizabethtown – and proceeds to completely change his point of view about life, the universe and everything. The Manic Pixie Dream Girl has no real motivation, no actual life of her own and in fact only exists specifically to fulfill the male character's every fantasy and desire. Oh, and sometimes she has a fatal disease or medical condition, like Charlize Theron in Sweet November and so she's conveniently dead by the end of the movie and our hero can face the rest of his life unencumbered by her whimsical ways.

In "Love and Other Drugs," director Edward Zwick decided it would be fun to keep the disease but lose the fatality, which means that Anne Hathaway's MPDG gets to deal with MS pretty much throughout the entire film as she dedicates herself to the reclamation project that is Jake Gyllenhaal's character. Gyllenhaal, whose name hurts my brain every time I am forced to type it out, plays an up and coming Viagra salesman who decides it will be fun to model his love life after "Shakes the Clown," and therefore takes advantage of Hathaway's vibrating pussy every chance he gets.

Aside from the on-camera sexin' there isn't much to recommend "Love and Other Drugs." We've all seen this movie before: a self-centered dude falls in love with a sick girl and learns that money isn't everything. What I really want to see onscreen is a movie that pushes back the boundaries of good taste by featuring a man who falls in love with a mentally disabled girl and learns that he can make everyone in his family uncomfortable at every single holiday gathering by teaching her a limited vocabulary of sex-related words. Even better – what about a movie where a girl falls in love with a pony (not a stretch) and then marries that pony in Scotland, where the two of them can be free to ride each other as hard as is legally allowed in that dark and isolated kingdom (ok, maybe a bit of a stretch).

You will notice that both of my suggestions do one thing that "Love and Other Drugs" does not – break new ground. Yes, sometimes it might actually be immoral (sex-retards) or illegal (bestiality) to explore bold frontiers in cinema, but that doesn't mean people shouldn't try. In fact, it's our duty to do so.

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