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Side Effects
Side Effects
Actors: Katherine Heigl, Lucian McAfee
Genres: Comedy, Drama
R     2006     1hr 30min

Karly Hert (Katherine Heigl) has spent the last ten years selling drugs... legally, that is. She?s works for one of corporate America?s darlings, the pharmaceutical industry. Karly has it all ? a big salary, a company ca...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Katherine Heigl, Lucian McAfee
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Romantic Comedies, Love & Romance
Studio: Hummingbird Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed - Closed-captioned,Full length,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/16/2006
Original Release Date: 09/09/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 09/09/2005
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 8
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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Movie Reviews

A satirical but not quite scathing indictment of the pharmac
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 08/15/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"At the very beginning of "Side Effects," our heroine, Karly Hert (Katherine Heigl), tells us that she sells drugs for a living, quickly adding that she does it legally. Karly is not a drug pusher; she is a sales rep for a pharmaceutical company. Writer/director/producer Kathleen Slatery-Moschkau worked several years in just such a job, so her objective here is to air the industry's dirty laundry and possibly convince you that drug pushers might not be that bad in comparison for the simple reason that the drug companies do not take as much of your money.

Katy is hired by the company, not because she knows anything about pharmaceuticals, but because she is a babe. However, Katy is not really comfortable in a corporate world where making money is the bottom line and her boss prefers that she wear panty hose is she is gong to wear a skirt. On the other hand, when they hired her they gave Katy a company car and that is nothing to sneeze at. Then Katy meets Zach Danner (Lucian McAfee), who is the antithesis of the world in which she lives. Zach's goal is build his own house and this ideal makes up for the fact he does not look like your typical leading man in a movie. Still, Katy is committed to their future together and circles the date on the calendar when she will quit her job so they can go built their home in the woods.

At that point "Side Effects" takes an interesting satirical turn because Katy decides that instead of following the company's scripts for selling durgs she is going to tell doctors the truth (to wit, their product is not any better than comparable products by their competitors, just more expensive). I thought Slatery-Moschkau was going to take more advantage of this approach, like they did in the Dudley Moore movie "Crazy People" did with its hysterical shtick of telling the truth in commercial advertising, but it becomes a minor yet ironic joke as her unorthodox approach makes Katy successful and gets her on the management track. That means a nicer company car and as her unscrupulous company gears up for the release of the new anti-depressant that they want to turn into a billion dollar blockbuster, Katy finds herself being led into temptation and putting her future with Zach in doubt.

Although "Side Effects" is clearly a work of passion and personal commitment for Slatery-Moschkau, she clearly wears too many hats in making this film. After all, this is her first film and her objectives would be better served by a writer and a director with more experience. What she does have going for her is that she has gotten Katherine Heigl to play the lead role and even persuaded her to do a couple of semi-nude scenes (the term now being defined as seeing the side of the breasts but drawing the line at coming close to seeing a nipple). Heigl has the babe part down and her winsome personality makes up for a lot of the flaws of this film. However, I fully admit that in the end I round up on this film simply because while I would hope that the idea pharmaceutical companies are interested first and foremost with making profits is not news to anybody, it never hurts to be reminded of the fact and to take a look behind the curtain.

Slatery-Moschkau does a filmmaker commentary that offers an inside look at the making of the film, but also a medical commentary where she explores the medical issues brought up in the film, based on her decade working for the pharmaceutical industry. So you can regulate how outraged you want to be by what these companies are doing as you go through the DVD's special features. Slatery-Moschkau followed up this film with a documentary this year, "Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety," which is obviously compatible with the position of this 2005 film. Too bad the film does not offer any solutions to the problems it details beyond the basic belief that drug companies should not be doing what they are doing."
A 'fun' expose of the sales tactics of the pharmaceutical in
mary o'malley | Wisconsin | 04/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Before I saw this movie I had never given much thought to the pharmaceutical industry. I got my prescriptions filled at Walgreens and took them dutifully, without any consideration as to how that presciption ended up in my hands.

'Side Effects' is eye-opening without being the least bit didactic as it follows new-grad Karly Hert's career trajectory as a pharmacutical rep. She masters the tactics her employers encourage her to use to peddle her wares to doctors, enjoying increasing financial success even as she questions the ethical implications of her work.

With a feel-good ending that I won't spoil, 'Side Effects' succeeds as both a post-college coming-of-age story and an investigation of the sales tactics of the pharmaceutical industry. Katherine Heigl is fantastic as the wide-eyed and increasingly jaded Karly, and don't miss Dorian DeMichele as Karly's unscrupulous boss. A must see."
Brilliant Indie Movie
J. D. Aimone | Hells Kitchen, NY United States | 03/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Saw this in a east village theater (two boots) and it rocked.

Katherine Heigl takes on a much meatier role than her current model/doctor-in-training in prime time.

Dorian DeMichele, who plays the ruthless yet seductive Jacqueline, is incredible. I didn't know if I wanted to boo her or woo her!

It was a terrific and important movie for everyone to see, I cannot believe it was made so fast and with such a small budget. Katherine Heigl was fantastic and I loved the chemistry she shared with Lucian McAfee. Not only was the story fantastic it was scary to realize how true this movie is. Congratulations to Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau on a great movie, one I hope everyone will see across the country."
Big Pharma Exposed
Marie Logan | Wisconsin | 08/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"An eye opening educational experience on how the pharma industry really works. It definitely will make me think twice before running out and filling my next prescription. Yes, the acting could better, as could the editing, however, thats why it is an indie film. For this being Slattery-Moschkau's first attempt at film making, I think she did a terrific job! The story is one that needs to be told, and Slattery-Moschkau did so in a fun and entertaining way!!"