Last week was one of those where I decided to indulge my curiosity by watching a few Pay-Per-View movies. Every book I’m reading is the size of a large toolbox and I craved stories that would last only two hours.
Thats how I ended up watching both The Switch and Love And Other Drugs.
I felt like I’d fallen down a well in a Children’s story and entered a world where candy grows on trees and birds help you dress. Both movies were a lot sweeter, funnier and more enjoyable than I thought they’d be.
Hollywood needs new marketers.
What I expected from the ad campaign: A whacky Jen Aniston-centric rom-com with lots of goofy mixups (he switched the sperm! Cam he get the right bottle back? A la What’s Up Doc?).
What It actually was: A sweet Jason Bateman-centric rom-com where the boy man protagonist learns about the joys of adulthood and family with the help of an adorable but odd little boy.
Love And Other Drugs
What I Expected: Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhal naked. A lot. Gyllenhal simulates lots of straight sex so we dont remember the gay sex from Brokeback Mountain the rest of his career. (every straight actor who plays gay does this. They either take a protohetero role or give a thousand interviews about their straight sexual prowess, wife and kids, etc. It strikes me as very cruelly antigay in a subtle way.)
What it actually was: well, it WAS those things. I mean, naked people having sex and eating cereal and talking and being lovely naked people. But that was a very small part of a movie that dealt with the world of Big Pharma, the out of control sales tactics for new prescription drugs, and the painful journey of loving someone with a chronic illness. There was one scene where Anne Hathaway, who has early onset Parkinsons, was trying to declare her independence and then broke a glass with her out of her control hand. She howls the same howl with the same rage I have when the same thing happened to me. There’s nothing like your body betraying you in the small ways at the worst times.
There are a lot of articles these days about how to save Hollywood and get the ticket sales back up. Very few of those articles mention that the movies’ marketing teams need to stop underestimating the audience’s intelligence and be proud of the smarter movies they put out. This is that article.