Love and Other Drugs
November 24, 2010
Jamie Reidy was an odd choice to be a pharmaceutical representative for drug company overlord Phizer. As a Notre Dame alum, nothing about him screamed Viagra salesman and Viagra was the company’s hot product at the time. What he did have going for him was a military background, a trait that major conglomerates covet in that motivated self-starters are oftentimes the best natural sellers. In this case, company policy was problematic in one way but useful in another.
Reidy proudly abused the system that in no way officially required him to get out of bed in the morning. Effectively self-employed, he set his own hours in meeting with potential customers, realizing quite quickly that he could make a boatload of money doing a half-assed job. Phizer was rewarded with a top flight Viagra salesman who sold a lot of product despite giving very little effort to the company. In point of fact, Reidy claims that when he announced the intention to leave the company, he was listed as the top overall salesman for their key trifecta of products, principally focused on Viagra.
Always considering himself a writer first and foremost, Reidy recounted the odd events that comprised his life as a sexual enhancement drug peddler in Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman. Amusingly, his depiction of these events led to his termination from his current job at the time as an Eli Lilly drug peddler for cancer patients. Recognizing his true confessions as telltale signs of a poor employee, Pfizer’s industry competitor made the appropriate determination that they needed to end that business relationship before he wrote a book about their daily dealings as a follow-up. Realizing that he had burned too many bridges in the world of Big Pharma, Reidy turned his attention to selling his life story to Hollywood and given his prior successes in sales, it is no surprise that a movie adaptation of Hard Sell has been created.
Director Ed Zwick of About Last Night… fame returns to his roots a bit for this tale of intensely sexual romance between Brokeback Mountain co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway. Early reports indicate that the two have extended scenes of nekkid throughout the film, making Love and Other Drugs an inevitable late night cable staple in years to come independent of its quality or box office performance. What is clear is that with an Academy Award winner, Zwick, helming the picture (he won as a producer, not a director) and Academy Award nominees Gyllenhaal and Hathaway being the focus of the film, there is every reason to believe that this should be a high profile release that could merit strong awards consideration if it’s any good. (David Mumpower/BOP)