Sunday, July 30, 2006

Side-Effects: Grade B


Side Effects

Katherine Heigl. Director=Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau

KH plays a pharmaceutical salesperson, calling on doctors and trying to persuade them. She battles her way forward in the fast lane, hyping the drugs, ignoring dangerous side-effects. She burns out and decides to tell nothing but the truth about the drugs to the doctors. Her success consequently becomes phenomenal and she is the star sales rep. Finally she gets conscience and quits in a dramatic ending.

The film is an indie made on a shoestring, and that may be the reason why it does not quite hit on all cylinders. The acting is superb, the story line important, the script funny, and the photography competent. Music is several pop bands overlain (not my cup of tea, but quite adequate). The problem is that we don’t know why she burns out, or why the doctors start buying more when she tells the truth, or how her crisis of conscience comes about. There is just not enough detail there (not enough scenes). So it is more of a sketch of a movie than a finished movie. The directing is good except for one slip-up, a gratuitous nude scene, for which the director essentially apologizes in the DVD extras.

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