There aren’t many films released each year that successfully pull off both comedy and drama. (‘Please Give’ and ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ are two of the best I’ve seen so far this year.) So when they do, they generally rank high on my list. And this one certainly qualifies. It begins as a pretty funny romantic comedy and slowly works its way into the drama category. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a pharmaceutical sales rep for Pfizer in 1996 when drug companies were just beginning to push little known miracles like Azithromicyn, Zoloft, and Viagra. While trying to convince a way-too-easily pursuaded doctor (well played by Hank Azaria) to recommend these drugs to his patients, Gyllenhaal meets and falls for Anne Hathaway. Lots and lots of sex and nudity ensue. (Yay!) Unfortunately, Hathaway’s character has Parkinson’s, so therein lies the trouble in paradise. (Boo!) But don’t worry, there are plenty of laughs early on to balance out the heavy drama that follows. New rule: If you want to make a film better, add Oliver Platt and Judy Greer in supporting roles. It’s just that simple! Oh and there’re some good tunes in the 90’s soundtrack. (Man, I miss the Spin Doctors.)
The film isn’t scheduled to be released until late November, and the fact that they’re screening it to select audiences this far ahead of time means the studio is proud of the film and trying to generate word of mouth. Well, consider this a recommendation.