From a jaunty Spin Doctors–scored opening to a teary, Regina Spektor–cued finale, Love & Other Drugs switches to any style, station or frequency to keep you entertained. Or at least not bored. (Maybe awake?)
The most egregious pander party of the year, Edward Zwick's latest middlebrow atrocity has been so carefully market-tested that it needn't even be seen — just administered directly into the bloody mainstream.
Cuddly cubby-bear Jake Gyllenhaal plays Jamie Randall, an underachieving late-1990s rich kid who learns to channel his sex drive into pimping pharmaceuticals for Pfizer. He hands out Zoloft and Viagra samples between strategic lays before finding his true calling in the company and care of Anne Hathaway's eagerly proffered breasts. Jamie and Maggie, a prescription-med junkie, fuck until they make love, then break up and make up over her early onset Parkinson's.
Watching two ripe and fearless young stars nakedly cavort ought to be titillating, but Gyllenhaal and Hathaway are so overexposed here, you feel embarrassed for them. Meanwhile, Jamie's incongruous brother, Josh (Josh Gad), crashes on the couch, counteracting adulthood with jerk-off jokes.
Buried somewhere in Zwick's film might be a topical romance, maybe even a health-care satire, but you'd need to dig to find it.