First Hit: Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal have an on screen chemistry that works.
Even with many of the good lines already previewed in the trailers for this film, there are many more spoken by the actors as the film unfolds.
Maggie Murdock (played by Hathaway) is a young woman with 1st stage Parkinson’s disease. She takes a number of drugs to help her get by without most people seeing her symptoms. She is independent, strong and doesn’t want to be messed with.
Jamie Randall (Gyllenhaal) plays a smart unfocused guy who the ladies are drawn to and, in turn, he loves to bed them. While pretending to be an intern he watches an examination of Maggie. She finds out that he wasn’t an intern and lets him have it.
They find out they have a lot in common; a need to feel free from entanglements, they both like sex, and they have fun together. As with all setups like this, we know they are going to find out they really care about each other and are meant for each other.
The way this story goes about it is really fun and entertaining. It also gives the audience a glimpse of Parkinson’s disease. I would have enjoyed more of the scenes when Maggie goes to an “unconvention” of Parkinson’s patients. Their self-deprecating humor was wonderful and insightful.
However, as the film moved along I didn’t feel we know enough about Maggie, where her family was, what her life was like before the onset of Parkinson’s.
The film seemed to lack some character development. What also didn’t work for me was Josh Gad as Josh Randall, Jamie’s brother. I’m not sure why this character was needed throughout the film.
Hathaway was wonderful to watch and her beauty and openness was engaging. Gyllenhaal was perfect as the guy who can always find a way to get the girl. He carries that air about him that makes life a rollick. Gad was good as the nerdy younger brother, I just didn’t get why he was in the film so much. Oliver Platt as Bruce Winston, Jamie’s sales mentor was funny and on target as a sales motivator. Charles Randolph and Edward Zwick wrote a witty screenplay and Zwick did a very creditable job of directing this in a lighthearted yet thoughtful way.
Overall: This was a satisfying film to watch and it was great to see good screen chemistry at work.