A ton of movies hit Netflix recently. Along with Oscar-lauded blockbusters like Ghost, Gladiator, Malcolm X, Leon: The Professional, and Titanic, the streamer’s catalog will also feature Love & Other Drugs starring Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal.
The Anne Hathaway starrer is currently Netflix’s seventh most-watched film globally, despite its very R-rated content. Billed as a romantic comedy-drama, the film tells the story of a medicine peddler in 1990s Pittsburgh who starts a relationship with a young woman suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Released in 2010, Love & Other Drugs is directed, produced, and co-written by Edward Zwicfrom. Interestingly, the story was inspired by Jamie Reidy’s 2005 non-fiction book Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman.
At its core, the movie is a cross between Love Story and Up in the Air. Essentially following two lost souls who try to find and hold onto each other, despite their hang-ups. While Anne Hathaway’s Maggie is warm and lovable, Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal) is to the pharmaceutical business what Jerry Maguire was to professional sports. Unfortunately, that also means the story isn’t exactly original, and that tone shifts a lot, sometimes jarringly so due to the unusually bold love scenes.
For those reasons, Love and Other Drugs received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an approval rating of 48% based on 165 reviews, with an average rating of 5.78/10. While viewers found it refreshing to see an Anne Hathaway romance story that was so very “adult” in its content, Love & Other Drugs struggled to find a balance between its disparate plot elements.
Although the Anne Hathaway film’s intention may have been clear to writer/director Zwicfrom, it was reviewed as having far too much manic energy at the beginning. Oddly, enough it calms down for a while to focus on the highly competitive (but not always ethical business of drug sales). Then it gets distracted when it realizes needs to live up to that R-rating. The story then jumps into the cultural phenomenon of Viagra before deciding it’s a romance after all. So it ends in a very romantic, albeit conventional way.
Anne Hathaway may have chosen Love & Other Drugs to step away from her 2001 Princess Diaries image, as R-rated shock value is a go-to for actresses looking to change the way audiences see them. Her other adult roles include 2005’s Havoc and Brokeback Mountain. But it was 2006’s The Devil Wears Prada that was her biggest success at the time.
She won over audiences as a college graduate Andrea “Andy” Sachs who goes to New York City and lands a job as assistant to a fashion magazine editor. Directed by David Frankel Anne Hathaway starred opposite Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, and Stanley Tucci.
In 2008, Anne Hathaway tackled a more serious role, playing a recovering addict with a mental illness in the drama Rachel Getting Married. Her performance earned her a nomination for the Best Actress Academy Award. She then went on to star in the commercially successful romantic films Bride Wars (2009), Valentine’s Day (2010), Love & Other Drugs (2010), and the fantasy film Alice in Wonderland (2010).
In 2012, Anne Hathaway starred as Selina Kyle in her highest-grossing film The Dark Knight Rises, the final installment in The Dark Knight trilogy. That same year, her portrayal of Fantine, a prostitute dying of tuberculosis, in the musical romantic drama Les Misérables earned her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
She is also the recipient of various other prestigious accolades, including a Golden Globe Award, and a Primetime Emmy Award. The actress has also done voice-over work for The Simpsons, sung for soundtracks, appeared on stage, and hosted events. In 2015 Anne Hathaway was ranked among the world’s highest-paid actresses. Over the years films have grossed over $6.8 billion, and she appeared on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list in 2009.
In addition to her acting talents, Anne Hathaway supports several good causes. She is a board member of the Lollipop Theatre Network, an organization that brings films to children in hospitals, and advocates for gender equality as a UN Women goodwill ambassador. Away from the cameras, she is married to actor and businessman Adam Shulman, with whom she has two sons.