Yesterday, another test screening took place of Love and Other Drugs, this time in New York City. I'm hoping that they're working through the alphabet, in which case Oxford must be next. Fortunately, thanks to the power of Twitter, we have the opinions of a member of the NYC audience and, not unexpectedly but definitely pleasingly, there are some more good words for the film and for Jake Gyllenhaal. And yet again there are warnings of large amounts of naked skin or, as the Tweeter put it: 'So. Much. Skin.'
Here are the other 140-letter reviews: 'LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS was actually quite hilarious, and SO fucking sexy. Hathaway bares all, and except for full front, Gyllenhaal does too.'
'I always like Jake, but after this movie... damn. He is everything. Too bad it got all movie of the week in the end, but still solid.'
'It's refreshing to see a rom com with characters who don't act like utter idiots for sake of a stupid plot. Real people with good acting.'
'So. Much. Skin. Worth if for that alone. And it's really the antithesis of every dumb Aniston/Heigl shit Hollywood shoves at us.' [With apologies to Jen for that last comment because, as we've been discussing in the comments to the previous post, Jen isn't what's bad, it's some of the roles that she's taking.]
So, while I mull over the idea of an intelligent, funny and well-acted romantic drama that includes lots of sex and bare flesh - takes a breath and continues - I thought I would take a look at some of the things that Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway have said about each other since those days of Brokeback Mountain.
Just after Anne finished filming Brokeback, she recalled to an Australian film site (the site is now gone but I posted it here a couple of years ago) how her friends reacted to knowing she was to kiss Jake: '[Excited] Kissing Jake Gyllenhaal was great! I’ve had all good experiences when it comes to on-screen kisses. I’ve had a really good legacy of on-screen kisses. They’ve all been wonderful! Who was the best kisser of all? I don’t have to answer this… [Thinks for a second] But it was definitely Hugh Dancy, my co-star in Ella Enchanted!' (I believe that Maggie will be playing opposite Hugh in her forthcoming vibrator movie!)
'Q: Did you hang out with Jake much after the cameras stopped rolling? 'Well, we hung out together with other people. Jake and I never really hung out one-on-one, but we’d go out in groups of people. The thing that is great about Jake is he’s really, really intelligent so he’s really fun to talk to.' Q: Were your mates really jealous of you? '[Excited] Oh my god! Both guys and girls alike were so jealous when they found out. A lot of my friends are people who I met at college and so they recognise that he’s a really smart guy – and that’s something that gets them very excited.'
'Q: Can you tell us a secret about him? 'Ooh, what do I know? I can tell you that he’s such a funny joke-teller. Oh, and he does accents better than anyone I’ve ever met.' Q: What’s his best impression? A gay man ordering a drink. Trust me, it’s hilarious!'
And Jake's memories of those days: 'Annie and I had been through a lot together during the filming of Brokeback Mountain. I was still struggling with the separation from Kirsten Dunst and Annie heard my whining for hours and comforted me. We know each other so well now that the love scenes for Love and Other Drugs were in the can after a day. I play a pharmaceutical spokesperson, who fell in love with a woman, played by Annie, who suffers from Parkinson's disease.'
When Anne confirmed to The View that she was to star opposite Jake in Love and Other Drugs - way back in June 2009 (just showing how fast the whole thing came together) - there was a bit of a muddle between Jake and Joaquin Phoenix, which is completely not justified (despite the rate at which Jake's beard is growing).
In October 2009, we actually got some video of Anne and Jake on set - not necessarily at the same time.
And then there was the business of the merkin - a very memorable component of the publicity for Brothers during November and December of last year. If you don't know the full history behind the merkin now, shame on you...
The results of the first screenings back in February suggested that Anne burnt up the screen (Note: many of these early reviewers have been male).
During WonderCon and the publicity for PoP, Jake was keen to talk Duncan Jones and Source Code because, understandably, this project was newer and fresh in his mind. But he did have this to say in the Italian magazine, Nick: 'The film is about a Viagra salesman who happened to meet this wonderful woman who is ill with Parkinson's, that Anne Hathaway plays with absolute tenderness. The director is Edward Zwick, whom I have admired since the days of Glory'.'
But now, as we wait for Love and Other Drugs, you've got to wonder how could there not be such chemistry between the two leads? They share so much, as photographer Henney Garfunkel recalls: '"I shot Jake in Toronto in 2005. He was there for Brokeback Mountain and there was alot of buzz around him," Garfunkel remembers of a playful Gyllenhaal. "Anne Hathaway, Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams were all in the room while I was shooting and someone came in and told them they had just won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. They were all jumping up and down."' You'll find two of the pictures below.
Includes photos from IHJ and links.