Monday, September 12, 2011

Movie Review: Love and Other Drugs

Last night I sat down with Gavin to watch what I thought was a feel good, romantic comedy, Love and Other Drugs. I was looking forward to watching this because I needed a good laugh after an afternoon spent crying and feeling sorry for myself about my hip problems and all the fear, anxiety and embarrassment that goes along with having a disability. This movie is actually a romantic, drama, comedy.  The first 20 minutes of movie had me laughing, but the rest of the movie was sad, thought provoking, and paralleled my own life.  The movie goes like this:

Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal), a handsome and charming pharmaceutical rep., falls for a Maggie (Anne Hathaway), a sexy barista not interested in a relationship.  While trying to woo Maggie, Jamie knows that she has stage one Parkinson disease.  As Jamie falls more deeply in love with Maggie, Maggie fears that her disease is too much for any one man to handel.

Like Maggie, I also live with a disability.   I don't want to compare myself to someone living with Parkinson disease (or any other disease or disability that I don't have)  because each disability comes with it's own unique symptoms and struggles.   However, I could relate to the emotional roller coaster she was on throughout the film.  In the film, Maggie is young and has been fairly recently diagnosed (I can totally relate to this).  She also went through a ton of doctors and tests before she got her diagnosis (me too).  I can relate to her fears that no one will love her, because she is "broken".  I can also relate to the embarrassment that she feels.  In the movie there are scenes were she is embarrassed by her physical limitations, and tries to hide the symptoms of her disease from Jamie.  I too, find myself trying to hide my limitations from others because I am embarrassed.

These two particular lines in the movie hit a chord with me.  The first is when Maggie says, "why would you want to be with me?  I can't go do things.  I am not fun."

The second line is when Maggie tells Jamie, "I will always need you more than you need me."

These two lines sum up how I feel about my disability and my relationship with Gavin.  In fact, I bring these things up quit often when I talk to Gavin about my fears.  There are so many things that I cannot go do with him.  We can never go for a walk on the beach, go snowboarding together, or travel around Europe together.  There are so many things that he won't be able to do because of me.  If he was married to another woman he would be able to go do all these things, and many more.

There are so many things that I need Gavin to help me with.  Gavin works all day, then he comes home and does housework, helps to make dinner, fixes things around the house, does all the shopping for our household items and groceries.  On top of all this, he has taken complete care of me during my first surgery and he will need to do it again when I have my second surgery.  Who knows how many surgeries I will need.  He has never once complained.  I wish I could do more for him.

I just need to remember that Gavin didn't fall in love with how far I can walk, or how many boxes I can carry.  He fell in love with me because he loves me!  He loves my heart.  He tells me that the only thing he needs me to do for him is love him.  And I do love him with all my heart!

Maggie's prognosis is that she will inevitably get worse.  Unlike Maggie, there is a possibility that I could get better.  There is also a possibility that I could just get worse.  I feel very anxious living with this unknown, but I know, no matter what happens, Gavin will still love me.

Everyday is an emotional roller coaster for me.  It is nice to see a fictional character that is going through the same emotions that I am.  The movie portrayed in a positive light, a young person, pretty and full of life,  living with a disability.  Life still goes on after you have been diagnosed with a disability.  Just because you have a diagnosis doesn't mean people will stop loving you.


  1. oh my god Angela... reading this post makes me want to cry. You are so brave. I watched that movie about 3 weeks ago, it was heart-warming and a tearjerker but I did not think from your point of view. You definitely made me think about the movie in a different perspective.

    I used to feel sorry for myself too all the time and it effected my self-esteem greatly until I met my significant other.

    Be strong and think positive. Life is short, enjoy every minute of it with the people you love. :)

  2. Thank you Wendy! You're so sweet. You're right, you have to enjoy life. We are lucky to have sweet guys with us too!