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Jake Gyllenhaal’s Top 10 Performances

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10. Jamie Randall

Love & Other Drugs (2010)

OK, OK. So Edward Zwick’s film about the fun, carefree, sexy love story between a mostly amoral pharmaceutical salesman and a comely young woman with onset Parkinson’s doesn’t work all that often. The film is a tonal mess from start to finish, moving wildly from hard melodrama to envelope-pushing sex on a near-constant basis to a handful of genuinely affectionate moments with whatever the opposite of ease is. Even so, there are points in Love & Other Drugs that work effortlessly, and most of that success can be attributed to Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway as the unusually star-crossed leads. Their scenes together lend the film, and particularly Hathaway’s portrayal of a woman cursed with an incurable disease far too soon in life, an emotional resonance that extends beyond the pages of its ham-fisted screenplay. Gyllenhaal is given a lot of modes to play in one film, but he does it ably and at a time when he was only beginning to emerge as a true leading man.

Genuine Gyllenhaal: When his Jamie approaches her Maggie as she prepares to bus a small battalion of senior citizens to Canada for cheaper drugs. Their ensuing argument about whether they should even bother being together is oddly touching and an emotional high point for a movie that could’ve stood to aim for more of them.

Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

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