Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal.

(15) 112mins

Director: Edward Zwick

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Oliver Platt, Josh Gad

BIT of a strange one this. I could have given it four out of five stars as a slapstick comedy or three stars for a heart-rending love story.

As it was a strange mish-mash of both genres it takes the lower rating.

Which is a shame as when it’s funny it’s very comical and when the heart-strings are pulled it’s very emotional.

But I found the swing too great from Gyllenhaal and Hathaway discussing love, when one partner has a terminal disease, to our Jake suffering a side-effect from Viagra and his brother mistaking this for the car gear stick.

The story revolves round Jamie Randall (Gyllenhaal) who has never thought of anyone but himself (we know this because he tells us).

During his drug salesman rounds he meets Maggie Murdock (Hathaway) who has Parkinson’s Disease.

The film takes a stab at the difficult question of how those with disease and those who are the carers can cope.

But it’s almost as if the comedy is thrown in just in case the emotional side doesn’t quite work.

Gad as Jamie’s brother is arguably the best part of the movie at times with some great comic moments.

The two star names do have a great chemistry together and there are some very touching moments. But it’s probably not a good sign when I start taking notice more of the superb music in the background.

Overall, it’s worth giving this a viewing but it’s just a shame it didn’t make up its mind what kind of movie it wanted to be.

three out of five stars

Steve Payne

Screening courtesy of Crawley Cineworld.