One of the many, many aspects of WDW that I have thoroughly enjoyed over the years is when we can all share in an adventure and there have been quite a few. Today we have another. You may have heard that a movie called Love and Other Drugs is on the way, surrounded by an increasingly deafening buzz of anticipation, not to mention the scent of that well-known cologne Oscar Fever. Last night, our very own BBMISwear was able to attend an early screening of the film in Boston - also there was Edward Zwick, the director. Lisa has written a non-spoilery report of her evening for us. And so.... let us transport ourselves to a full Boston theatre, humming with the excitement of the prospect of seeing Love and Other Drugs... Here's our invitation.
'The theater was full - of course. There was applause at the end and the little I heard of people talking after it seemed everyone only had good things to say. Ed came in and said he does not like to talk too much about a film before it has been seen as he feels the film should speak for itself. He then went on to discuss how the drug industry has changed so much over the years and many here (at the screening) may not remember back when it was illegal to advertise pharmacutical drugs but it was and therefore there were a lot less of them in our medicine cabinets, again, for those here that are of the age to remember (side note - I'm one of those people)! He said that that is not what this film is about but he thought it was important to know this fact. He said the film is about so much more than the pharmaceutical drug business - that it is about the relationships of people and the actors take us from moment to moment. He said that all involved in this film found it very important to do this...to show us moment to moment. (heavy stuff)!'
Some details about the film... 'The film is just a little short of 2 hours long. There's been talk of this film being sometime in the mid-90's but just to clarify it opens with the date 1996 clearly on the screen so the audience knows exactly when it took place. The film is absolutely incredible. I honestly have never seen a movie before that had laugh out loud parts AND close to tears heart breaking parts AND incredibly hot sex scenes! All this with 2 incredible A-List actors...we just don't get movies that have all this but this one does and Ed Zwick did one helluva job bring this all to life!!'
'I don't know how much to say about the film without giving too many spoilers...Jake and Anne are everything people have been saying...their performances are killer and they look so damn comfortable together you would think they are really a couple. The sex scenes are out of this world and OMG Jake is truly the most sexy person alive (yes, we already knew this...but it is 1000% confirmed after seeing this movie)!!! He says Lisa 6 times in this movie *thud*'
'There are scenes that did not make it (as with every film) but one specifically that is in the trailer and one specifically we saw "on set photos" of. Damn. I hate missing scenes. I want to see every single scene they filmed! There is also a scene in the trailer that is a little different in the film (they obviously included the more PG rated clip here instead of the real clip that appears in the movie that makes it R and so much better). This is 2 seconds of different footage that only a Gyllenhaalic will pick up on...ha ha! Oh...and something us Gyllenhaalics will LOVE. Jake is in every single scene. Every single solitary scene (except maybe some weird transition scene once or twice for 10 seconds). Seriously. His is the first voice we hear and the first face we see and it lasts through to the last scene. I freaking love that. I never want to watch a Jake film again where we don't see him in every scene.!! I love Ed Zwick right now!!'
'One thing about Jake's character Jamie Randall (who by the way I am officially madly in love with...damn) is he is all over the board when it comes to personality traits...you see this character grow right in front of our eyes and it's wonderful. And I saw a little of each past Jake character in Jamie. I know that's easy for a true Gyllenhaalic to do because we watch all his movies over and over but I clearly saw Homer in October Sky, Donnie in DD, Pilot in Highway, Sam in TDAT, Jack, Douglass, Tommy, etc. - seriously - those 3 second zoom ins of those expressions of his and you see these other characters and you see Jamie develop over the course of his and Maggie's time together and Jesus I just don't know how to put this into words. And Annie, BTW, is by far the most talented, prettiest, sweetest actresses of her generation and beyond and I hope she gets everything she deserves. We all knew this already as well but, again, confirmed and then some after one views this film!!'
A big big thank you to BBMISwear for taking the time to write all this down for us and make it come alive. This is going to be something special.
Ed Zwick is not a director that puts himself forward but Love and Other Drugs is a film that he cares deeply for (as you'll see below) and so he is on the road to tell people what this film is about, what type of movie it is, and how he worked with two extraordinary actors. Yesterday he was interviewed by FilmGordon Radio on Keeping it Real. You can listen to the interview as part of this podcast. Here are the pertinent sections which, yet again, demonstrates how well Jake chooses his directors. It's not all one way.
On how the film was initially marketed (before the arrival of the second much more favoured trailer) 'I think the first piece of material that came out on the film was a little traditional. It said oh might have thought maybe it's just a romantic comedy, a chick's film and I think that probably what you found is it's more than that.'
'[Anne's] smoking in the movie and you know both of them have done very good work. Annie has taken particular risks in these last couple of years with the stuff she's done and I think each of them show parts of themselves that people really had never seen. I mean Jake is just dead out funny and she's really really badass and it's a pretty combustible combination between the two of them.'
Is the film like Love Story? 'No, you're some of the first to really see the movie... obviously that movie was fun because it was a date movie. It was a little bit syrupy for my tastes. I'd like to think this movie's a little bit hipper and funnier but I can understand what they're saying. It moves you romantically and tries to talk about a romance in a way that's kind of intimate. I get it.'
The dialogue seemed so natural, almost as if they were adlibbing. Was this because of the screenplay or because of the chemistry between actors who were friends, having worked together before? 'It is the script because without that if you'd ever met actors in private I think you'll know they're not quite as charming and clever as that [laughs]! These two happen to be very smart, very funny, warm people and so it's a combination. It's the me getting to know them, them getting to understand my work, I'll start to write a little bit more in their voices, if you will, and it all sort of becomes one thing. It all coalesces. You spend a couple of weeks rehearsing together and then this is what you end up with.'
Is Love and Other Drugs the pharmaceutical version of Jerry Maguire. 'That's a great movie you're talking about. Cameron Crowe is a friend of mine and the idea that you're trying to make a movie that talks about what work is and at the same time where love fits in to that that's a subject that we all deal with in our lives.;
'I care about [LAOD]. We've played this movie now in Kansas City, Missouri, in DC, Atlanta, in Chicago - it plays just as well in any of the places that we do it and that's usually a signal that we've touched something that people are going to respond to. I'm hopeful.'
Ed has won an Oscar as a producer but he hasn't been nominated as a director - which role means more? 'As a director... I think, I'll tell you the truth, I think people don't quite understand what it is to try to make yourself invisible. The reason that so many actors that I've worked with have been nominated and won, the reason that the movies have gotten attention, is that I've chosen not to put myself out there in front of the movies. I think when I'm doing my best work is when people don't even realise that there's a director there. I think that's the hardest thing to do. I think it's actually easier to be self-conscious and to call attention to this unbelievably cool shot, and this very outrageous experimental attempt to do something. God knows I could do that. I choose not to. I really think that the reason we go to the movies is to be involved in a story and to really get involved in the performances and I think that's why these actors want to work with me, because they know that's what they're going to get.And it's OK. You know, I think I get plenty of attention. We all know that awards are what they are and then we've forgotten that they took place. So the fact that I'm able to keep making movies and making movies that I want to make with these extraordinary, talented people, that's plenty of an award.'
'Directing is the love because you're really painting the picture and when you're producing, you're buying all the paints and choosing all the colours and setting up the easel but somebody else is painting the picture and I really love to be the one who's actually painting the picture... I can't lie, it is about directing. It always has been.'
How viagra changed the world: 'That was the moment that it all changed. Before that, the FDA wouldn't allow you to advertise. They changed their policy and suddenly every commercial, every second commercial was a drug to buy and they set upon millions of dolloars in to it and people were telling their doctors what they wanted and suddenly all of our medicine cabinets filled up with more and more drugs and the world changed. And this was the moment when that happened. And I wanted to remind people that it wasn't always like that and then it changed.'
Is the film finished? 'That's the final print. That's the movie. We're done. And if we get some pushback from the pharmaceutical industry... you know what? If you're not pissing somebody off you're doing something wrong.' Finalyl, Ed suggests that he might be doing something with DiCaprio in the future but 'he takes a while, I take a while'.
I have warmed to Ed, as I have done with most of Jake's directors.
It's great to see the votes coming in on The Sasquatch Poll. And just as well because the matter is not losing its urgency. Jake was seen yesterday at the Momofuku Milk Bar (a rather alien concet for this neck of the woods) in NYC and he was 'a VERY bearded Jake gyllenhaal'. Worrying emphasis, I'm sure you'll agree. An upside is that, as you can see from the website, they have very nice straws.
Includes pictures from BBMISwear and IHJ. Thanks Lisa!