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How Gratuitous Is Anne Hathaway’s Nudity in Love and Other Drugs?

When it comes to getting naked on-camera, some actresses do it, and some don't. Those that do inevitably explain that they are only willing to do so when nudity is fundamental to the story or the character, not just incidental or lecherous. In Love and Other Drugs, in theaters tomorrow, co-stars Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal are naked a lot (or nekkid, as David Edelstein put it). So inevitably, Hathaway would like to be clear that the nudity is not at all gratuitous: "We didn't want to lose the film's energy in these [nude] scenes. And I think that is what resulted in the film. It's less of nudity and more of intimacy." We couldn't agree more! The movie, in which Gyllenhaal plays a drug salesman and Hathaway an artist with early onset Parkinsons, is about a passionate, intense couple, the kind of couple that wouldn't have sex or pillow talk under covers, arms clamped at their sides, firmly over the sheets. So to further Hathaway's argument, that the very naked Love and Other Drugs is naked because it has to be, artistically of course, we've supplied compelling justifications for all six instance of female nudity in the film.

Instance of Nudity: Hathaway is in the midst of a doctor's appointment. Gyllenhaal is illicitly observing. Hathaway tells the doctor she has a strange mark on her breast and she would like him to check. Rather than cutting away, the camera stays on Hathaway as she takes her breast out.
Compelling Justifications for This Moment of Nudity: This is not a character who is coy about nudity. This is not a movie that is coy about nudity. Hathway's character may be ill, but she does not look it. Gyllenhaal's character becomes interested in Hathaway's character in part because of the high quality of this breast — showing it is fundamental to helping the audience understand his motivations.

Instance of Nudity: Hathaway arrives at Gyllenhaal's door in a trench coat (in a scene you can see in the trailer), walks in, opens trench coat, revealing herself to Gyllenhaal and his brother.
Compelling Justifications for This Moment of Nudity: This is a sexy, bold chick, given to impulsiveness and laughing at herself. This is the kind of woman that would hold a sex-crazed cad like Gyllenhaal's character's interest.

Instance of Nudity: Breasts, ass exposed during post-coital lounging, after aforementioned trench-coat incident.
Compelling Justifications for This Moment of Nudity: This is what happens in real life.

Instance of Nudity: Breasts, ass exposed during post- and pre-coital lounging, after the pair's first meaningful relationship conversation.
Compelling Justifications for This Moment of Nudity: This is what happens in real life.

Instance of Nudity: Breasts exposed during conversation after failed attempt at coitus.
Compelling Justifications for This Moment of Nudity: This is what happens in real life. The sex fail is due to a male-mechanical problem, so Hathaway's continued nudity serves to highlight how severe the problem really is.

Instance of Nudity: Breasts exposed mid-orgasm, after the pair decide they are really a couple.
Compelling Justifications for This Moment of Nudity: This is what happens in real life. Also, the moment makes a visual analogy between orgasm and Parkinson's disease (both cause tremors), because the human body is a site of both pleasure and pain.

nymag.com
Posted Date:
Nov 26, 2010 Add comment
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