Love & Other Drugs

Love ain’t it grand? You meet someone, they catch your eye, and turn your world upside down. You just can not get them out of your head forcing you to take a chance on an individual that you may not have taken a chance on in the first place because they captivated your imagination.  For many of us this is the most elusive of all things in finding someone who we can love unconditionally without reservations, and by some miracle they actually love you right back with the same zest for you that you have for them. And that quest or search if you will for the one person with whom you can love and love unconditionally has led us all down sorted different paths with great triumph and at times tragedity yet we still pursue love hoping for the best every step of the way. In the film “Love & Other Drugs” starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway we find a brilliantly talented yet underachieving Jamie Harper wasting away selling electronics, partying, and picking up chicks. Your archetypical slacker ladiesman, charming, smart, and underachieving with just enough charisma to fool women into giving a relationship with him a shot. Maybe they think they can “fix him” maybe they think he’ll stick around and not just use and abuse them but they’re wrong.  Then you have his quirky love interest in struggling artist Maggie Murdock, the troubled young twenty soomething suffering from Parkinson’s disease who can barely get by on a day to day basis. Her relationship problem is her outright refusal to commit so that no one will be attached to her or know the most intimate details of her disease. So the moment that they meet each other there is a spark, but she refuses to act on it and like the smooth playboy unuse to rejection Jamie doggedly pursues Maggie until she gives into him.

I found this movie very interesting in the contrasts of characters between the very sauve and debboaire Jamie, and the brilliant and unsteady Maggie.  It was almost as if  they were each others mirrors into the others souls. Maggie’s unchalance more of a front and Jamie’s noncomittal a defense mechanism inwhich they both could just coast through life a shell of themselves, not achieving that which is their best in life but getting by. Maggie a talented painter toils away at a coffee shop going through the motions whilst the smart yet uninspired Jamie goes from odd job to odd job skating through life and BAM they shine a light on the areas they are lacking in. The noncomittal Jamie must committ and the nonconfrontational Maggie must confront that which truly holds her back. As they do this throughout the film they continue to grow together as individuals and it does make you want to pull for them as they chug along in their journey. Finding those people in your life no matter if they’re your significant other or a dear friend who always seem to have that effect on you that they deeply move you and make you improve or change your ways are rare to find. When you find them you hold onto it and you fight for the relationship no matter what, and seeing Jamie fight throughout the film for Maggie, for them, and for his own soul in a sense kept me interested.

We all strive to get the approval for others in everything that we do because we want the status that comes with it. We want them to say “job well done” and tell us that we’ve finally “made it” even when we kill ourselves in the process. This rings true with Jamie constantly wanting the approval of his parents and to be pleasing to them. For many of us, this is the same as we strive to achieve greater, and greater things not so much as to do them for ourselves or to help others but only to get the approval of others we can never seem to please. As time goes on we see a change in Jaime and I would say that I enjoy the film and watching his journey evolve.