Despite the way the film is being advertised, as a saucy romantic comedy, Love and Other Drugs has a very specific point of view. And might I say, it’s about time someone said something.
In any given day, how many ads do we see selling drugs to the general public? I’m going to make a wild guess that it’s one in four ads on television are for depression, restless leg syndrome, chronic dry eye, bladder disorders, erectile dysfunction (you haven’t lived until you’ve tried to explain what a four hour erection is to a pre-teen, “you can use it as a hammer if you’d like.”). Other side effects include dizziness while standing, suicide in young adults, bleeding of the ….you get the picture. You do not see these ads in other countries, folks.
Are we sick or are they trying to foist sickness upon us? To me, and obviously to Ed Zwick, this is a corrupt and twisted element of our society akin to the smoking ads during the Mad Men days.
Here he speaks with the Daily Northwestern and talks a bit about it and wants Love and Other Drugs to highlight a moment in the mid-90s when the drug companies got their carte blanche:
Well, it certainly was in that moment. It still is very intense. You guys are young, so you probably don’t spend as much time in doctors’ offices as some of us do as we get older, but the hot girls walking in in their slit skirts and their spike heels, and the guys looking like ex-military, they’re everywhere. And it is a rapidly competitive business. And it’s a consumer business now. Once the FDA allowed them to do advertising on television at this moment that the film describes, it became even turbo-charged. We really wanted to get that across.
Zwick also comments on the nudity in the film: