Movies rarely pack as much into 113 minutes as Edward Zwick’s romantic comedy-drama Love and Other Drugs. Directors often stumble when balancing this mix, but Zwick makes it all work. The film is partly based on Jamie Reidy’s memoir of his stint as a pharmaceutical salesman in the ’90s (with a new love story added for the screen). Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a glib womanizer who gets by on his seductive charm. The job’s slippery ethics match his personality -- the sleazy tactics he uses to push pills include seducing receptionists and pimping for horny physicians. Jamie pursues Maggie (Anne Hathaway), a clever and beautiful artist with early-onset Parkinson’s disease, and the pair — both averse to commitment — begin an affair, complete with plenty of onscreen nudity. Jamie’s career rockets when Pfizer launches its magical moneymaker, Viagra, but he’s blindsided by his love for Maggie. Love and Other Drugs is so entertaining that when Maggie’s illness really takes hold, it’s like a punch to the gut. Though the movie meanders at times, it brims with sharp words and solid performances.
Director: Edward Zwick
Writer: Marshall Herskovitz and Charles Randolph
Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jake Gyllenhaal, Oliver Platt, Hank Azaria, Judy Greer, Brenna Roth, Gabriel Macht, Jaimie Alexander, George Segal and Katheryn Winnick