I’ve watched Love Potion No. 9 and ordered Chinese food every Valentine’s Day since college (a tradition started by my best friend); no matter if I’m single, in a relationship, or somewhere in between. This film is a fun, light-hearted romp through romance that will leave you with a smile on your face and a lingering buzz in your heart. Love Potion No. 9 is a quirky, pleasant, wholly enjoyable experience that will titillate and delight even the most hard-hearted bastard. It’s the Zooey Deschanel of movies.
Love Potion No. 9 follows Paul and Diane, two tragically nerdy primate psychobiologists who are trapped in dead-end personal lives. Diane is booty-call backup, whilst the closest relationship Paul has is with his hand. Paul randomly visits a mysterious fortune teller, Madame Ruth, who foresees an ass-less future and hooks him up with Love Potion No. 8 (basically the vocal version of super roofies). Paul and Diane eventually get around to testing it out themselves and go bonkers on sex/dating sprees. Cue magical makeovers for our leads, taking them from frumpty to humpty in no time flat. Rom/Com shenanigans ensue with a happy ending you see coming from a mile off (but still root for).
Love Potion No. 9 was inspired by, and loosely based upon, the song of the same name written in 1959. It’s the perfect date movie, the cinematic equivalent of cotton candy. It’s fluffy, sweet, and entirely satisfying in the moment. The cast is charming and the chemistry between Bullock and Donovan is engaging and completely authentic. This film is the nerdy girl’s Cinderella and set the stage for Sandra Bullock’s career as a Rom/Com sweetheart. Love Potion No. 9 doesn’t take itself too seriously, and neither should you. This movie is remarkably well put-together for being based upon such a thin premise. I’ve seen films built on much more solid concepts that were far less satisfying to watch.
Love Potion No. 9’s largest flaws were a nagging lack of plot development and predictability. While funny, fast-paced and (at times) clever, it glosses over too many details to fly entirely under the radar all the way to a Toast. There was a moment in the film when the characters and storyline achieved equilibrium and had a wrench thrown in the works purely for form’s (and formula’s) sake. Most romantic comedies are built along the general lines of Boy Meets Girl, Boy Likes Girl, Girl Has No Fucking Clue, Circumstances Change, Girl Likes Boy, Couple Gets Together, Shit Hits The Fan, Resolution, and Happily Ever After. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time, but for fucks’ sake put some new goddamn rims on a bitch every now and then.
Grab a guy. Grab a girl. Hell, grab both and turn the lights down low while you watch Love Potion No. 9. If you don’t get ass with this movie then you’re doing something wrong. Dial back that Deliverance vibe and crank your game up to eleven. Let Love Potion No. 9 do the rest.
Take a Drink: every time Love Potion No. 8 is used/for every person it affects (excluding the finale chase scene-you’d die).
Take a Drink: anytime there’s a voiceover.
Take a Drink: every time someone explains how a love potion works.
Take a Shot: whenever someone visits/gets advice from the mysterious gypsy.
Take a Drink: anytime the hooker coughs/you want to burn something the hooker touched.
Take a Drink: every time you wonder how the hell they shoved those Chiclets they called teeth in Sandra Bullock’s mouth.
Shotgun a Beer: for the Running of the Whore during the finale.