Someone once said, “Maybe romance comes from the heart, but comedy comes from the crotch.” It might’ve been Mel Brooks. Or maybe nobody said it. I’m not sure. Anyways, somebody should say it, so here goes: “Romance comes from the heart, but comedy comes from the crotch.” I bring this up because Love And Other Drugs is a movie all about Jake Gyllenhaal’s boner. Will it go into exotic Thai people? Will it go into a Parkinson’s girl? Will it ever be able to hear stories from its brother’s boner, which has yet to go into any girls at all?
I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll skim the plot so we can get to the Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway naked. (And oh man, are they naked. Things that happen whilst naked: eating, discussions of childhood, LOTS of sex. [Actually there is so much sex, they ran out of naked and some of it occurs while wearing clothes. Awesome.]) The plot: Jamie is a brand-new pharma rep for Pfizer who pushes Zoloft with seduction and charm. On the job, he meets 26-year-old Maggie Murdock and her Parkinson’s (stage one—the most acceptable onscreen form of any degenerative disease). She has a quirky visual arts loft where all the pipes are exposed. He is an asshole. Both are emotionally shellacked. They have sex like so: Mmm UH UH UH mmmmmm OH YEAH SCROMF SCROMF WHUT hoooooo. Then Viagra comes out, and Jamie makes a killing. Then he tries to cure Maggie, which is pretty much her #1 turnoff. (Note: he uses money, not Viagra, in this curative attempt. Important distinction.)
By far the weirdest part of Love and Other Drugs is the way it welds heart-poking honesty to boner jokes. And Vaudeville. I mean, if you were to extract Michael Cera and Jonah Hill from any contemporary teen sex comedy, then warp them 12 years into the future until they become 30-Year-Old Good Looking Guy (Gyllenhaal) and 30-Year-Old Gross Guy We’re Supposed To Laugh At (Josh Gad), then sure—it seems plausible that those two might be selling boner pills. But then Director Ed Zwick blends that boneriffic setup with a classic meet-cute rom-com and more than a dash of Lorenzo’s Oil. And you know what? It kind of works. Taken together, these weirdly disparate genres are a pile of dirty laundry on your floor: so comfortable that you almost want to wear ‘em just one more day. Aaaalllllmost.
Clearly, this newfangled blend needs a brand and a title. So (ahem): I hereby proclaim this genre the Brom-Com! We should pause here to distinguish it from both movies containing bromance (I Love You, Man), and Brom, the noted gothic fantasy artist. Though considering how much T&A is in this movie, I’m sure he’d approve of the connotation.