Friday, November 26, 2010

Jake Gyllenhaal at his summer solstice in "Love .." selling you-know-what

In 2002, I had seen an indie comedy screening in Minneapolis Block E, “100 Mile Rule” (dir. Brent Huff), about “sales culture” where salesmen were told a motivational seminars, “Always Be Closing!”

So it is with “Love and Other Drugs”, the new “romantic comedy” from director Edward Zwick and 20th Century Fox (without Cinemascope). Jake Gyllenhaal, at 29, has the absolutely perfect manly body (compare to how he looked in “Donnie Darko” at age 20), so after 30, it’s a downhill ride. Jake is usually a more sensitive character in most of his movies, but here, after being fired from a job like “Chuck’s” in some sort of “Buy More” store, he takes on pharmaceutical sales for Pfizer. Driven by quotas, he takes on the most manipulative techniques to get past doctors’ office receptionists and take competitors’ samples to the dumpsters. His career skyrockets when the company introduces Viagra, which can lead to some pretty obvious R-rated comedy. Then he meets an artist Maggie (Anne Hathaway), whom he soon learns has progressive Parkinson’s. (I believe I have it, but for me it is non-progressive and very mild; I didn’t know that the prognosis is often as grim as it is.) He takes her around the country seeking new clinical trials, when she threatens to break up with him because he can’t love her “as she is”.

So, what a roller coaster ride this movie is, about “character”. I simply could not compete in a sales world driven by manipulating people. It’s a good thing I didn’t try to become a life insurance agent in 2005.

The movie is made is Pittsburgh (like “The Next Three Days”), with a scene on the PA turnpike, and also in Chicago.


Love And Other Drugs Trailer

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