Last paired up for Brokeback Mountain
, Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal reunite for this romantic take on Jamie Reidy's Hard Sell
. The story takes place in the 1990s when a certain blue pill made its debut. Gyllenhaal's Jamie, a smooth-talking pharmaceutical rep, meets Hathaway's Maggie, an aspiring artist, while trying to persuade her physician (Hank Azaria) to carry Pfizer products. The attraction is instant, but Jamie prefers the thrill of the chase to anything more meaningful. While he and his partner (Oliver Platt, Azaria's Huff
co-star) work on a transfer from Ohio to Illinois, Jake and Maggie's fling develops into a relationship. On the comic side, Jamie battles with a rival rep (Gabriel Macht), switches from Zoloft to Viagra, and gains a roommate in his socially inept brother (Josh Gad, good value). On the dramatic side, he gets a glimpse of Maggie's world, which involves trips to Canada for medication and the temporary loss of motor skills (the screenplay fails to explain how she can afford such a spacious loft). Not counting shows like Thirtysomething
, Edward Zwick remains best known for docudramas like Defiance
, and Love and Other Drugs
marks a new direction. The dialogue is snappy and the actors are game--both show a fair amount of skin--but the two halves of the film make for an awkward fit. Still, it's nice to see Gyllenhaal cut loose for a change. If Hathaway gives a more self-conscious performance, she brings the requisite amount of spirit and dignity to her role. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Romantic comedy starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, based on the non-fiction book Hard Sell The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman by Jamie Reidy. Jamie Gyllenhaal is an ambitious and promiscuous pharmaceutical salesman who has always kept his emotions firmly in check as he uses his infallible charm to get his way in his job and in his encounters with women. But when he meets free-spirited artist Maggie Hathaway, he is perplexed to find that his usual box of tricks has little effect. Before long he has become hopelessly infatuated with her, but there is a reason why she wont let him get close, as Jamie is about to discover.