Review in a Hurry: Ridiculously beautiful commitment-phobes (Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway) suffer serious side effects from a love interaction. At first sight, Love appears to be this year's Up in the Air, but then it strictly follows the rom-com prescription and comes dangerously close to OD'ing on sap.
The Bigger Picture: Disclaimer: Love contains nudity and intense carnal activity, so check with your doctor to see if your heart is healthy enough for sex scenes. Actually, the title should have been Sex & Other Drugs—not because of all the steamy action, but because love has a way of screwing things up, this film included.
Gyllenhaal stars as Jamie, a skirt-chasing charmer who trains to be a Pfizer drug rep in the late '90s. Partnering with veteran salesman Bruce (Oliver Platt), he struggles to meet quotas by schmoozing hospital staffs.
While shadowing a prominent physician (Hank Azaria), Jamie meets patient Maggie (Hathaway), a free-spirited artist with early onset Parkinson's disease. Quicker than you can say chemistry, these two hotties are playing doctor—on the floor, in bed, against the wall, etc.
Though they're averse to intimacy and relationships, little by little—and montage by montage—their hookups evolve into something more. Simultaneously, Jamie's career explodes with the release of Viagra, and sales of the little blue pill give him a big out-of-town job opportunity.
To their credit Gyllenhaal and Hathaway, having previously paired in Brokeback Mountain, generate plenty of onscreen sizzle, but also have a comfortable, credible rapport. Both excel at subtly revealing the vulnerabilities beneath their slick facades.
Josh Gad earns chuckles as Jamie's chubby misfit brother, but he's a stock rom-com character in the Jack Black vein. And you can set your watch to that most overused cliché, the last-reel car chase. Where's the pill to combat predictability?
Love does provide a funny, fascinating peek into the cutthroat pharmaceutical world and the Viagra phenom, but unfortunately, that satirical edge wears off once the pic takes a traditional Hollywood path, with Hathaway as the Julia Roberts-esque girl with a disease who tames the cad.
The 180—a Second Opinion: The wonderful Jill Clayburgh, who passed away this month, makes one of her last film appearances as Jamie's mother. Check out her underrated gem Starting Over.