Love and Other Drugs


A few times each year, I settle into my easy chair and watch a good love story. I watch them alone, because Sue can’t stand what she calls “Chick Flicks.” I argue that I don’t watch “chick flicks,” I just watch movies about people falling in love. Whenever I say this, Sue just looks at me like I’m a pathetic child, puts her hand gently on my shoulder and says “but dear, that’s what chick flicks are.” She says all this quite softly, but then puts her finger in her mouth to indicate that she is mentally gagging by merely thinking about a romantic story. That’s just the way the two of us are, though: I’m the hopeless romantic, and Sue, well let’s just say she’s not so romantic.

Anyway, I recently watched the movie “Love and Other Drugs” staring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, and I enjoyed it. It had all the major components of love that I believe occur in real life, and delivered them in an entertaining and believable way.

Jamie is a pharmaceutical salesman with loads of charm and charisma, but lacking in ethics and morals. He will say or do anything it takes to make the sale or to get the woman into bed. Maggie is suffering from early onset Parkinson’s disease, which will slowly deteriorate her life away to nothing. She has a massive chip on her shoulder because of the obscene profits the major pharmaceutical companies are experiencing while walking all over the people buying their drugs.

These two unlikely characters meet, and fall into a whirlwind relationship based solely upon passionate sex. As they get to know each other, they both let their guard down a little, allowing their vulnerable sides to become visible. Jamie views himself as a perpetual screw up who isn’t good at anything. Maggie believes that her disease has stolen away any chance she has of ever experiencing happiness in life.

Of course, love always overcomes all (says the hopeless romantic)! Maggie comes to see that although she is going to require much more from a man than a healthy woman ever would, she also has something to give in return. Jamie discovers that having Maggie in his world has finally given his life meaning, and her love has cured him of his self destructive tendencies. Don’t you just love happy endings?

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