Love & Other Drugs ★★★½

This was another blind buy. I snagged it on Blu-ray last year during one of Best Buy's Upgrade & Save sales for $4.99 on a blanket recommendation from a friend. I kinda remembered when it came out, and for whatever reason, I've had it in my mind that it would be a good companion piece with Blue Valentine. I'm still reeling from watching that film earlier in the evening, and I had hoped that Love & Other Drugs would offer some levity.

It does, but it doesn't.

It's certainly a lighter, much less intense film than is Blue Valentine (and with a far more uplifting finale), but the topic of someone with an isolating, presently-incurable chronic health issue was yet another sucker punch in my evening. To be sure, I drew the big straw getting Crohn's instead of Parkinson's, but I've certainly felt the fears and frustrations that harangue Maggie. On a different night, I could go into discussing the importance of gender biases in the film (why it's easier for the male Jamie to have the privilege of good health than the reverse), but I don't have it in me right now.

Instead, the only clear thought I want to note at present is that most of the film's humor - including everything with Jamie's brother - was a miss for me. I found it lazy and forced, as though the storytellers were terrified of entrusting audiences with the Jamie/Maggie relationship on its own and for some reason tried to pander to an especially juvenile taste. It's a shame, because those elements were pervasive enough that they cost the film an entire star from me.

If I had more of my typical objectivity, I might take an even dimmer view of the movie, but the matter of dating with chronic illness is an easily exploitable vulnerability of mine - and after Blue Valentine, I was already pretty emotional.

How Love & Other Drugs Entered My Flickchart

Love & Other Drugs > Steven Wright: When the Leaves Blow Away --> #810
Love & Other Drugs < Diamonds Are Forever --> #810
Love & Other Drugs < Memphis Belle --> #810
Love & Other Drugs > Charlotte's Web (1973) --> #708
Love & Other Drugs > Entry Level --> #658
Love & Other Drugs > Adventureland --> #632
Love & Other Drugs < 2001: A Space Odyssey --> #632
Love & Other Drugs < Gridlock --> #632
Love & Other Drugs < Marnie --> #632
Love & Other Drugs > Syriana --> #630
Love & Other Drugs > Nurse Betty --> #629

Love & Other Drugs entered my Flickchart at #629/1620