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Love and Other Drugs

Anne Hathaway, Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake plays Jamie, who starts out the movie as our bad boy. He’s a charmer, and goes through women like they’re take-away dinners, always careful to avoid a meaningful relationship. At one point his brother says “You hate women. Why else would you screw so many of them”.

When Jake lands a new job as a drug rep for a major pharmaceutical company, he meets Maggie (Hathaway). Maggie is the bad girl to his bad boy, wanting uncomplicated sex and avoiding anything coming close to a relationship. They are holding on to a lot of hurt, and dealing with their own personal baggage to do with identity and self worth. They both learn to love more deeply than they have ever before.

The film is a little raunchy so I wouldn’t recommend watching it with your mum. Most of the sex scenes are quite tastefully and realistically shot, but there is one very tacky scene involving a whole host of extremely beautiful, semi-naked women at a pajama party/orgy. It was at this point that I exclaimed “oh come on, as if!” – male fantasy in full flight…

Apart from this, the film has some very moving scenes involving Maggie’s struggle and acceptance of early-onset Parkinson’s Disease. Right when she finds peace with the disease, Jake struggles with his role in her life.

This is quite a good film which offers up a few typical stereotypes of men and women, but also some role reversals (albeit obvious ones). It has a fairly good story line, deals with some important issues, uses solid actors, and sports a moving ending.

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Ella Enchanted

Anne Hathaway, Hugh Dancy

I bought this movie for my kids to watch. But it’s okay as a family flick as well – we all enjoy it. And it has quite a good soundtrack.

Hathaway is Ella, bewitched from birth to be obedient. As an adult, she seeks to find the fairy who gave her the ‘gift’ and have it revoked – being obedient can certainly have its drawbacks. She embarks on a journey and meets a handsome prince along the way.

But the film also looks at issues of power and class – shown through the injustices and prejudices against the ogres, giants, and elves. The prince’s evil Uncle is the maker of the injustices and seeks to take the crown from the prince who is the future king. So Ella’s journey is also a journey to help the prince, help her forest friends (and find love of course).

The kids get a sense of what is right and what is wrong. The world is made up of a lot of different people, all of whom have their own hopes and desires. And the handsome prince doesn’t save the princess – she can kick ass in her own right and my girls love that!

Get Smart

Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway

This movie is, of course, the modern version of the Sixties TV show of the same name. It was one of my favorite shows as a kid. All the girls loved to watch 99 – “Oh Max!”.

Carell plays Maxwell Smart, Agent 86. Hathaway is 99. We all know the story – they work for US organisation Control whose main aim is to defeat KAOS (usually representing Russia and/or Eastern Europe). Without getting into a socio-political analysis, let’s just say it’s all about good versus evil. And good, the US, wins out in the end.

This film is a classic rom com. Carell effortlessly provides the comedy. He is perfect for this role and is very similar to the original Agent 86. A romance develops between 86 and 99, typically after they start out disliking each other.

For some reason this film wasn’t a huge hit. I didn’t think it was too bad, there are some really funny bits that make you laugh out loud, and they use some of the old lines from the TV series. It’s entertaining and worth a watch, especially for the sake of sentimentality.

Valentine’s Day

too many stars to mention, here are a few…Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Anne Hathaway, Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Taylor Swift etc etc

This film is a little bit like He’s Just Not That Into You – with all the star parts, all the relationships, all the friends, and all the story lines that coincide nicely together as the film moves along.

So it’s Valentine’s Day and everyone is looking for love, looking for commitment, looking for friendship. Some get what they want, and some don’t. And as this is a rom com, it’s all good in the end. Not everyone gets love – if you’ve been bad you get a dose of justice! And there’s a couple of surprising twists to upset the rom com predictability.

I liked this film much better the second time around, but if you’re an incurable romantic, you’ll like it on the first viewing.

Bride Wars

Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway (and two very inconsequential guys)

Two best friends get engaged. They are very excited for themselves and for each other about getting married. But when they both want to get married at the same place on the same date, their friendship turns into a war.

Kate Hudson’s character is strong, funny, and smart. I didn’t warm to Anne Hathaway’s character as much, and found that Hudson drives the film.

A film that is all about weddings, is all a bit much really. This isn’t one of my favourite rom coms, but is very typical for its time.

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