A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this racy romantic comedy based on Jamie Reidy's memoir about his time as a pharmaceutical rep for Pfizer is filled with nudity (including erstwhile Princess Diaries star Anne Hathaway's breasts), sex, and sex talk. There's also a fair bit of drinking (sometimes to excess), heavy swearing (including "f--k" and "s--t"), and many references to prescription drugs -- though the main characters are rarely seen taking them. And it's not all laughs: There's a serious subplot about Parkinson's disease. Ultimately, though, the movie has a good heart, and the characters do learn to become better people.
What's the story?
After serial seducer Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal) loses his job selling audio equipment when he sleeps with the boss' girlfriend, he gets hired as a pharmaceutical rep for Pfizer -- and quickly finds that his way with the ladies helps get his foot in the door. Then he meets Maggie Murdock (Anne Hathaway), and she steals his heart, despite the fact that she has stage one Parkinson's disease. With Viagra on the way and untold wealth to be made, can shallow Jamie knuckle down and build a life with Maggie? And can Maggie trust that he won't run away when the going gets tough?
Is it any good?
Juggling the tricky mix of romantic comedy, sentiment, and serious issues is a job for a very graceful filmmaker, and Edward Zwick is about as far from that description as possible. In LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS, he relies on too many obvious romantic comedy staples -- like the "goofy best friend" -- and then flips over to heartstring-plucking moments relating to Parkinson's disease. (All of which is spiced up with tons of sex and language.)
In between, the movie tries to strike up some chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Hathaway, who previously played an unhappily married couple in Brokeback Mountain. It has its moments. Gyllenhaal never quite loses himself in his character, but Hathaway goes all the way. She gives a marvelously instinctive performance that brings Maggie to life, even when the movie doesn't.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the way the movie treats sex. The characters think and talk a lot about it and are seen having sex quite often. What role does it play in their relationship? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values surrounding sex and relationships.
The movie was based on someone's real-life experiences. Does that make it a true story? How much of the movie feels "true"? Why might filmmakers change some parts of it?
Why would Maggie be so reluctant to accept that Jamie could love her?
- In theaters: November 24, 2010
- On DVD or streaming: March 1, 2011
- Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jake Gyllenhaal, Oliver Platt
- Director: Edward Zwick
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Romance
- Run time: 112 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong sexual content, nudity, pervasive language, and some drug material
For kids who love romance
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.