It's 1996 and in between bedding an endless procession of women, freewheeling charmer Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal) works as a pharmaceutical sales rep. But Jamie is failing to persuade doctors to prescribe his alternative to Prozac, and on the advice of his partner Bruce (Oliver Platt), puts all his energy into cracking the influential Dr Knight (Hank Azaria).
Jamie's pursuit of Knight leads him to meet Maggie (Anne Hathaway), a beautiful young patient with an illness she tries not to let control her life, despite controlling her relationships. Despite a rocky first encounter, Jamie and Maggie begin hooking up for casual sex, something which works perfectly for the equally un-tie-down-able pair. But Jamie's feelings for free spirit Maggie soon make him realise he wants something more.
Meanwhile, when a new drug called Viagra enters the marketplace, forward-thinking Jamie achieves great success in pushing the little blue pill, and with a new outlook on work, the captivating Maggie gives him a new attitude towards women too.
Two of the hottest stars working in Hollywood today team up for this rom-com with an edge. Not afraid to allow its central characters to engage in a realistic adult relationship, the only thing missing from this tale of sex and drugs is rock'n'roll.
Based on Jamie Reidy's book, Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman, Love and Other Drugs combines a zingy romance with a restrained attack on the US medical industry.
While Edward Zwick slightly struggles to bring these contrasting plot strands together, it's impossible to take your eyes off Hathaway and Gyllenhaal (both nominated for Golden Globes) who form an irresistible pairing. Zwick's film becomes slightly formulaic towards the end, but has enough originality and spark to lift it above your average entry in the genre.