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LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS

Introduction
Edward Zwick directs, produces and co-wrote the screenplay for this unconventional and realistic romance that explores the nature of love and sex, how sex/lust evolves into love, and the ways people try and figure it all out. "LOVE & OTHER DRUGS presents two people who are desperate not to go to a deeper, more profound place in their connection to one another,” says Zwick. "But their appeal to each other and the nature of the love are so powerful they defeat the couple's impulses to resist connecting. Jamie and Maggie just can't help but fall in love no matter how much they try to avoid it. They surrender to something stronger than their intentions. And that's fun to watch because it provides comedy and emotion.”

Those themes certainly resonated with the film's two leads. "LOVE & OTHER DRUGS is about what it takes to let love in,” says Anne Hathaway. "Love is hard work and it's scary – and it's all totally worth it!” Adds Jake yllenhaal: "It's a comedy and a love story about two people who are running away from the same things: intimacy, connection, and caring. These are some of the most difficult things you can ask of another human being. But the movie is first and foremost a comedy; that's what we were trying to bring out in almost every scene.”

LOVE & OTHER DRUGS has thematic ties to Zwick's feature directorial debut, About Last Night, a critical and box-office hit that, like LOVE & OTHER DRUGS, presents a realistic, non-glossy romance that begins one way, then evolves into something quite unexpected. In between these two films, Zwick helmed several epic dramas set in such locales and periods as 19th-century Japan (The Last Samurai), contemporary African diamond mines (Blood Diamond) and displaced persons camps and Eastern Europe forests during the Holocaust (Defiance). But even painting on these larger canvasses Zwick always focused on character and relationships.

For television, Zwick and writing-producing partner Marshall Herskovitz, who co-wrote and produces LOVE & OTHER DRUGS, helped redefine character-driven narratives. "I think many people had forgotten that I started my career with stories of this intimate nature, especially on television, whether it was thirtysomething or My So-Called Life,” says Zwick. "Since I hadn't played with this voice in movies in a long time, when this opportunity materialized, I was drawn to it. I am interested in what is epic in the personal; sometimes the smaller struggles loom just as large with stakes that are just as high.”

"Ed and I are drawn to projects for multiple reasons,” adds Herskovitz, "and it's the thematic complexity that brings us to a specific project. We've wanted to do a motion picture comedy for a long time and we were quite intrigued by the world of pharmaceutical reps and the kind of silly, almost absurdist aspects of that subculture. With LOVE & OTHER DRUGS, we saw a real and very interesting relationship between these two people who have avoided connections and serious relationships. You see that possibly neither one has the capability to be in a relationship so therefore you are pulling for them.”

Producer Scott Stuber notes that "the truth of any good love story comes from how the characters grow up and that's really what this movie is about. It's about two people who have to step out on the cliff that is love. Jamie's got to mature and Maggie needs to let someone love her with all of her flaws.” Another longtime Zwick collaborator, producer Pieter Jan Brugge, who first worked with the director on Glory, notes, "Ed possesses the ability to fuse different tonal elements with remarkable skill and ease, which is not an easy thing to do. LOVE & OTHER DRUGS is not just a romantic comedy or drama or love story or social satire. It has many different elements and Ed's ability to fuse these tones into a seamless whole is his gift as a director. To accomplish this he needed great collaborators, principally in the cast. What sets our actors apart is their ability to play multiple things at the same time.”

The fictional world of LOVE & OTHER DRUGS is based on the nonfiction Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman, by Jamie Reidy (published in 2005), in which a cocky young Pfizer salesman chronicles his experiences as he played and beat the pharmaceutical industry at its own game in the late 90s. Hoping to adapt the book, Charles Randolph (who ultimately was a co-writer and producer on LOVE & OTHER DRUGS) brought the tome to Scott Stuber in 2006. "It was actually the first thing that I bought as a producer,” recalls Stuber, who had been co-president of production at Universal. "Jamie wrote about experiences I thought were analogous to films like Jerry Maguire, Wall Street or any movie where a young man goes into the workplace with ideas of what the world is going to be and the world beats them out of him. That's a very appealing theme.”

Randolph recalls that he was more intrigued with Jamie Reidy and his world then he was in the book itself. "I was interested in Jamie as a person. He's fun and interesting. I wanted the story of LOVE & OTHER DRUGS to be more about the tone of his life and some of the experiences he's had, then a strict adaptation of his book.”

"Charles wanted the adaptation to be a love story set amidst this world of pharmaceutical sales, which inspired the creation of the Maggie character,” Stuber elaborates. "Charles' story brought Jamie's journey together with the one Charles invented for Maggie, as her affliction [of early-onset Parkinson's disease] brings her into Jamie's world.”

Randolph worked on several script drafts until Stuber thought it was ready to go out to directors. Stuber was delighted that not only was Zwick interested in helming the project he and Herskovitz had some strong ideas for the story and characters. "Ed and Marshall added a lot of texture to the characters, but their real breakthrough was to weave together Jamie's work life and love life into what feels like one story. They brought in their voices so that Ed could direct the film within his own voice.”

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