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Love and Other Drugs

Two handsome stars make the best of an awkward mix of comedy and melodrama

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In this sort-of rom-com from Edward Zwick, a glib, bed-hopping young pharmaceutical salesman named Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal) pitches doctor's Pfizer's miracle potions. On a visit to charm an influential doc (Hank Azaria), Jamie meets the vivacious artist Maggie (Anne Hathaway). After some brief sparring, they discover they're a perfect match: Each only wants lots of no-strings-attached sex. (The poster doesn't lie: These two are naked a lot in this film.) Love mostly aims to be comedy: Jamie's job gets amusingly frantic when Pfizer releases Viagra, and his homelife gets extra yuks from his loserish couch-surfing brother. But Jamie and Maggie have issues -- some more workable than others -- and these lead Love into some pretty maudlin territory. The longer the film goes on, the less sure it seems of its footing: wacky comedy, now Lifetime weepie, now clichéd love (not sex) story. I wish it had just been a sex comedy -- not a Judd Apatow boys' romp, but the sort Europeans make, with plenty of banter and casual nudity -- and left the never-really-believable heavy stuff on the cutting-room floor. Gyllenhaal and Hathaway are simply too adorably cute for me to worry about anything except whose shirt is coming off next.

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