Posts Tagged ‘Oliver Platt’

Movie Review by Matthew Schuchman- Three out of Five ‘Staches.

Super hero movies are nothing new and this year is packed full of them. With the pressure “The Dark Knight” put on the genre and the positive feedback from this years first big contender, ‘Thor,” a movie like “X-men: First Class” has a lot of competition. While being the first X-Men film to follow up the atrocity that is “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” “X-Men: First Class” doesn’t have to work too hard to immediately be considered a better movie. Luckily for the viewing audience, “X-Men: First Class” is a pretty decent movie in its own right. (more…)


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Movie review by Matthew Schuchman- Two out of Five ‘Staches

Before I get into any specifics about this movie, I  just want to put this out there.  Like most romance films/romance comedies/romance dramas out there, “Love and Other Drugs” is overly formulaic and predictable.  Of course, a film can be as transparent as Christine O’Donnell’s cloak of sanity and still be good, but it has to do something really special to achieve that status  and “Love and Other Drugs” does nothing out of the ordinary to change the game.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays an obnoxious, womanizing, high-end audio/video salesman who loses his job and takes up a position selling pharmaceuticals for Pfizer in 1996.  During his rep work in Ohio, he meets Anne Hathaway who turns out (Possible Spoiler Alert), though not really since you find out the first second she is on-screen, has been diagnosed with an early onset case of Parkinson’s disease.  Due to her unwillingness to get into a relationship because of  her condition, she is just as brash and care free when it comes to sex as Gyllenhaal’s character.  They get together, they break up, they take things further, break up again and then there is a happy ending for all.  You know how it goes already.

Let me first start by getting to the logistics side of Jake Gyllenhaal’s story line in all of this before we get to the pair of actors and their combined story.  The film opens up with a chalky 1996 and then fades into an exuberant Gyllenhaal using his “charm” and “sexuality” to sell a ghetto blaster to a pair of rich white girls.  This is all accompanied by the classic, “Two Princes” by The Spin Doctors.  Now maybe my recollection of 1996 has gone fuzzy, but who the hell was buying ghetto blasters in 1996?  And when did rich white girls go to a high-end audio/video outlet and even think about buying one?  What high-end establishment was even selling the cheap audio equipment shown in the film.  I know what you are thinking, “why get upset about such a minor piece of celluloid that is just starting to set up the story?”  I find it bothersome because this sets off a trend of overacted and over embellished situations that run through the whole movie.

At his Pfizer training, Gyllenhaal is subject to a large array of unbelievable trials and tests along with all the young and beautiful people who are vying for a position at the growing Pfizer corporation (this was before Viagra hit).  One of my best friends is  a drug rep for Pfizer and he is very good at his job and  coincidentally, he  sold audio/video equipment before he worked for Pfizer.  Now, I don’t know the intricate details of his training/meetings, but I can guarantee you that 95% of the situations portrayed in this film are so over dramatic if not completely off the mark.  This is especially evident in how the film portrays how the drug reps deal with doctors.  Yes, a rep entertains doctors non-stop and buys them lunch and diner and so forth, but the plain over the top ideas the film put out there, are just sad.

Moving beyond all of this, the love story is just as I stated; trite and predictable.  The film takes it shots at trying to be the kind and caring, shining light to the problems of those with Parkinson’s, even including a section of those who really suffer with it speaking at a “convention”, but over all the movie is really about the relationship of two people you have no reason to like.

Anne Hathaway does a good job in the film against the ham job delivered by Jake Gyllenhaal.  The film has a great yet underused supporting cast that includes; Oliver Platt, Hank Azaria, Judy Greer and George Seagal.  Josh Gad as Gyllenhaal’s younger brother turns out to be the one who provides the most genuine laughs.  No matter what you read about this film, it will have a pretty big box office once it becomes well-known that the lead actors spend the first 40 minutes of the movie naked.  Sorry ladies, no full frontal shots of Jake’s crotch and yes guys, 35 of those 40 minutes is pretty much Anne’s breasts, so don’t ask me to elaborate.  Once it is all over though, you probably will wish you spent your time watching, “Love and Other Drugs” while on the other drugs.

I would like to thank the staff and organizers of the CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival for providing a screening of the film as well as others that will have reviews up very soon.  The amount of content they provide for festival goers is outstanding.  Make sure to keep up with all your CMJ news here.

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