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Reviews & Ratings for
Side Effects More at IMDbPro »

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16 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

A Hard Pill to Swallow

6/10
Author: David Ferguson (fergusontx@gmail.com) from Dallas, Texas
9 September 2005

Greetings again from the darkness. Writer and Director Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau draws from her 10 years of experience as a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep and adds a touch of comedy and romance to make the point that there is a constant battle between Profit and Healthcare for the major drug companies. No real revelation there.

What is at least interesting is her approach to telling the story. Katherine Heigl (from TV's "Grey's Anatomy") is perky and sparkles as the Sales Rep torn between the big paydays and her own personal integrity. It is not difficult to understand how one could be seduced into turning a deaf ear to the negative and instead buying into the corporate propaganda. Thousands of dollars in bonus checks and upgrades in company cars are just some of the perks that go along with playing the game.

The issue I have is with the movie-making aspect of this film. It has the feel of a film project, not a quality independent film with an important message. The romantic comedy approach takes away from the expose' of the industry. All of the office politics could take place at Any Office, USA. Total frustration with one's job and company is commonplace in every single office building in the country. What makes the story different is the corporate level disregard for public safety in order to maximize profits. Not enough of the film dealt with this process.

Michael Moore's next project centers on the Pharmaceutical world and my guess is it will provide many more questions on the entire industry than "Side Effects" has. I will also venture a guess and say that Mr. Moore's soundtrack will be nowhere near as cool as the "Side Effects" soundtrack!

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22 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Really awful

1/10
Author: skiprok from United States
18 September 2005

The screenplay is beyond clunky and obvious, and sounds as though it were written by a high school freshman. The supporting actors are painfully hammy. The film quality was lacking- out of focus half the time, and it seemed as though it were shot in full screen but being shown wide screen. The concept is there, it's just the execution that kills it all. Katherine Heigel had cute moments, but overall could not overcome the bad material. This is a movie that needed to be made, but should have been made well. The pacing drags, and the "wacky" jokes fall through. Don't waste your money. There are some indies that should never see the light of day, and this is one of them.

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

One mess of a movie.

3/10
Author: addison from Argentina
11 March 2008

I'm still in shocked, wondering how come a movie can be so horrible done. This movie has good intentions. Trying to open people's eyes is always a good thing. But that's about it. Good intentions.

The movie follows the story about a young woman who finds herself into the world of the pharmaceutical industry, while trying to maintain her ideals and integrity.

20 minutes into the film, and you'll be already laughing at how bad is this movie. Sub plots coming out of nowhere, bad acting performances, lack of rhythm, no direction whatsoever, painfully edited, sometimes shots are even out of focus …. I can go on forever. Katherine Heigl tries to put something out of nothing, but that's just not enough.

I've rated a 3/10, only because of the good intentions of the film and a plus point for Katherine Heigl.

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14 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Drama / Humor Go Well Together

9/10
Author: racerx111 from United States
11 April 2005

This film tells an important story in an entertaining and humorous way. There are several ways the film could have been structured, but blending the drama with humor maximized the entertainment value for me. Katherine Heigl plays the role of Karly Hert fabulously and has good chemistry with the other actors. I thought the sub-plots were good, but I would've enjoyed even more drug rep training/selling/boardroom-type scenes.

I laughed out loud and was amazed (appalled?) at the drug industry's tactics at the same time. It's an important topic highlighted in an entertaining film.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Selling the Soul to the Devil

7/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
4 December 2011

Karly Hert (Katherine Heigl) is hired by the Braden-Andrews to work as pharmaceutical sales representative persuading doctors to prescribe drugs from Braden-Andrews. Karly feels a moral dilemma with her unethical job, but is seduced by the salary, car, bonus and benefits offered by the corporation.

When Karly meets her former rep Zach Danner (Lucian McAfee), they fall in love with each other. Karly gives a schedule of six months to quit her job and she decides to be honest with the physicians. The result increases the market share of Braden-Andrews and Karly is promoted; receives a BMW as an upgrade; and lives a conflictive situation.

When the anti-depressive Vivexx is approved by FDA, Karly finds that there are medical reports showing lever issues hidden by the industry. Karly is nominated by Braden-Adrews to the award Industry Rep of the Year and she needs to take a decision.

"Side Effects" is a low-budget movie about the American pharmaceutical industry that moves billions of dollars per year and occasionally hides side effects of some medicines using unethical doctors that are bribed to prescribe their medicines. Coincidently I saw "Love and Other Drugs" yesterday that has many similar situations.

The plot romantically and ethically speaking gives a good message about the corrupted system. However, it is hard to believe on the story of Karly Hert, a young woman that climbs socially selling her soul to the Devil, and seeks redemption reporting the truth about a new medicine on the day that she reaches the top of her career with dedication.

Both Karly and Zach have consciously worked in the pharmaceutical industry aware of how the system works, and Karly has paid her bills and Zach has raised his savings for his dreams using the industry. Therefore, she is totally disloyal with her employer and her last attitude is a total betrayal. Therefore she was also extremely unethical in her behavior exposing the inside information that she had the way she does. Does the end justify the means? My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Efeitos Colaterais" ("Side Effects")

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10 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

An ambitious girl faces a moral dilemma

8/10
Author: jennyjoz from United States
1 December 2005

I saw Side Effects at the premier in Wisconsin and thought it was a wonderful film, despite a few technical issues. I found it to be enjoyable, informative and relevant. The acting was great, especially the boss-lady, Dorian DeMichele. I would have liked to see more of her on screen as she has a strong screen presence and a great deal of talent. Kathleen Heigl was believable and easy to watch, as was the rest of the cast. I have told my friends about this film and hoped it would travel to NYC where I live, but alas, it has not arrived. I recommend it, especially if you are in any way interested in the pharmaceutical industry. My only criticism was that the kissing scene went on a bit too long!

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Awful just doesn't seem strong enough.

1/10
Author: MoatesGarage from United States
6 January 2007

Okay, the point of the movie was made, but poorly played. Basically the movie is attempting to expose the pharmaceutical industry and all these new drugs that are constantly forced on us through celebrity endorsements and TV commercials. It's true, we spend way too much money on drugs and the industries force stuff on us. The movie gets to that point, but I think they used Katherine Heigl as a selling point and clearly the director wanted to know what she looked like without any clothes on. There are several scenes of her in her underwear, or furiously taking off her clothes. We as the viewers get screwed out of what could be the only redeeming quality of this film because we never get to see Heigl topless. Truthfully, that would have made the movie worth a rental. The movie looked like it was filmed on a home video camera, and sometimes the sound is so awful you have to wonder if it was. I get what they were trying to do, and to some point I can respect that but it could have been done better. I think the acting in my high school play was better, and that is saying a lot considering the talent pool we had. If you're curious, watch it. It's not like it's as bad as Miami Vice. Well, it's close but it's definitely not one you want to own.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Honesty please!

1/10
Author: HardCandyJane from Australia
24 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am 100% behind the message being pushed in this film (i.e. that pharmaceutical companies put profit above patient health by attempting to change medical doctors' prescribing habits using unethical and manipulative means). Hang on. Just one moment. Isn't this movie trying to do the same thing to the viewer that pharmaceutical representatives do on a daily basis to doctors? Isn't this movie deceiving the viewer into thinking that they are about to watch a romantic comedy? With a tag-line like 'Love is a Drug' and cover artwork including 2 20-somethings in a coy pose, what is the potential viewer to think? And isn't the director an ex-pharmaceutical representative who would be well briefed on such manipulation techniques? Put simply, this director shows a complete lack of respect for the intelligence levels of her audience. Throughout the entire movie, I felt like a doctor who was trapped in her office by a pushy pharma rep. I would have been more receptive to the film if I had been aware that I was about to watch what is essentially propaganda.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Worst Movie in a Long Time

1/10
Author: Gary Murphy (glm@hilbertinc.com) from Olathe, KS, USA
9 November 2009

I was expecting a romantic comedy, perhaps with a predictable plot. All that to say, I wasn't expecting much. I got a lot less than not much.

All technical aspects of this movie are quite awful in a quite obvious way. The direction, editing, acting (except for Heigl), and soundtrack were deplorable. The romance was not developed. The tension between the characters was not revealed to any degree. There was no chemistry.

There were scenes that didn't belong and some scenes that we had to be mind readers to follow, because there was no dialog and no coherent acting skills to fill in the gaps.

It was a horrible mess.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Not bad but not great

6/10
Author: napierslogs from Ontario, Canada
21 June 2007

"Side Effects" has a great story but unfortunately it has its problems that some people won't be able to get past. It stars Katherine Heigl as a young woman working for a pharmaceutical sales company, trying to figure out her professional life and love life. Although its not an original idea, they told the main story very well as they focused on the pharmaceutical sales industry and the moral dilemmas that come with the job.

Trying to run alongside the main story we had a few sub-plots, but these were really poorly done. These side story lines had no end, or if they did, they had no beginning. They really detracted from the film. Adding to this problem were technical issues with poor editing and sound.

I say you should see it if you are looking for a great story. But if you are going to get frustrated by some poorly written scenes and sloppy editing and sound, then skip it.

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