WEIRDLAND: Pharmaceutical salesmen, Masculine looks, machismo and sentimentality

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pharmaceutical salesmen, Masculine looks, machismo and sentimentality

Jake got one of his more manly looks with a shaved haircut for "Jarhead" (2005) directed by Sam Mendes

Jake Gyllenhaal goes errands out and about in L.A. on 27th May 2011. He is sporting the semi-shaved haircut he got to work on his next film "End of Watch" (2012)

"Jake Gyllenhaal is good at making characters likeable, so when the film opens with his character Jamie getting fired from his job after seducing a coworker, you already somehow like him (and his ridiculously expressive face).

His successful younger brother gets him a job with Pfizer (a leading pharmaceutical company) and the film properly begins.
Love and Other Drugs is based very loosely on the memoir of pharmaceutical salesman Jamie Reidy, and the film has this at its core throughout. He meets Maggie (Anne Hathaway), a sufferer of early onset Parkinson's disease, while desperately trying to sell an alternative Prozac to jaded Dr. Knight (Hank Azaria).

Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal as Maggie Murdock and Jamie Randall in "Love and other drugs" (2010)

While Maggie gives a realistic look at living with a degenerative disease and drug-dependency, Dr. Knight comes from another angle and encourages the audience never to be a doctor (juggling 50 patients a day, insurance companies and lawyers).

"May's upfronts — where networks announce their fall schedules to advertisers — there was a pattern: sitcom after sitcom about how today's men are besieged and need to rediscover their masculinity. Among them are How to Be a Gentleman, in which a metrosexual writer hires a trainer to dewussify him; Last Man Standing, with Tim Allen as a sporting-goods-company executive beset by girlie men; Man Up, in which a group of male friends worry they've lost touch with their inner warriors; and Work It, in which two guys dress in drag (à la Bosom Buddies) to land jobs as pharmaceutical reps.

But maybe men, in TV and life, would be better off letting go of some old ideas of masculinity. Charlie Sheen's meltdown — all that aggression and Darwinian gamete spreading — was old-school manhood taken to its farcical extreme. And it fit the themes of his sitcom, Two and a Half Men, about the bachelor-pad exploits of his alter ego Charlie Harper.

Still of Ashton Kutcher in What Happens in Vegas (2008)

Demi Moore (in Balmain) and hubby Ashton Kutcher (in Calvin Klein Collection) at GQ’s The Gentlemen’s Ball held at NYC’s Edison Ballroom on 27th October 2011

So it was telling that the biggest sitcom announcement of the upfronts was CBS's replacement of Sheen with Ashton Kutcher, a guy who started his career as a model, is monogamously married and looks like he uses styling products. Probably nice-smelling ones!
However Two and a Half Men changes, Kutcher's nice-guy public persona already marks a different idea of alpha maledom from the violent torpedoes of testosterone that made Sheen such a headache for CBS. Tim Allen and company may beat their chests, but in the real world, sometimes it's better to man up by manning down". Source:

"Francis Ford Coppola's 1985 adaptation of the novel by S.E. Hinton was full of tough thugs and mean mugs — and plenty of leather jackets. The Greasers, a gang of poor, wrong-side-of-the-tracks boys played by Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez, Ralph Macchio and C. Thomas Howell, live in Tulsa, Okla., where they have to fight to keep their territory from being overrun by the Socs (pronounced soashes). The Socs are wealthy, preppy jerks who don't understand the plight of the Greasers.The two groups clash repeatedly and one of those clashes results in a fatality, sending two of the Greasers on the run. While the film is chock-full of machismo and bravado, it's also tinged with the sentimentality and philosophical edge that made the novel a teen classic". Source:

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