Someone Like You... (2001) / Comedy-Romance

MPAA Rated: PG-13 for sexual content including dialogue, and for some language
Running time: 97 min.

Cast: Ashley Judd, Greg Kinnear, Hugh Jackman, Marisa Tomei, Ellen Barkin
Director:  Tony Goldwyn
Screenplay: Elizabeth Chandler (based on the novel by Laura Zigman)

Review published September 30, 2001

After watching Someone Like You, you might wonder why they slapped on such a generic title when the title of the book it's based on is called "Animal Attraction" (which is also what the film is entitled in the UK release), but if you stop to think about it for a moment, it makes a lot of sense. This by-the-numbers romantic comedy is so devoid of anything original that the only title more appropriate would have been, Generic Romantic Comedy. About the only thing that is unique in the entire film is the "man is bull" premise, but even that can be seen as derivative of other films providing metaphors that "man is dog", "man is pig", or "man is sea urchin." People who have been waiting for Ashley Judd (Double Jeopardy, Kiss the Girls) to finally emerge as an appealing romantic actress will have to wait a bit longer, as this rare comedic role for her is about as forgettable as the movie itself.

Judd plays Jane Goodale, a daytime talk show producer who has had a string of bad luck in the romance department until she hooks up with co-worker, Ray (Kinnear, Nurse Betty). Things seem to have really turned around for her, and Ray is as wonderful as can be, so when he asks her to move in with him, she enthusiastically says yes. From this point on, Ray begins second guessing what he wants to do, and eventually the two break up. Needing a place to stay, and to piss off Ray, Jane decides to move in with Eddie (Jackman, X-Men), the resident womanizer in the department, who just so happens to be needing a roommate. It is there that Jane comes up with a theory that all men are like bulls, who typically are bored with mating with the same old cows and prefer new cows, and she writes a magazine column using a phony identity of an older woman, thinking it will add importance and respect. Now all the talk show circuit is buzzing with her theories and trying to book the phony author, including Jane's own show.

About the best thing you can say about Someone Like You is that it sports a very impressive and likeable cast, all of which seem up to the task of making this a fun and energetic film. What a shame that there isn't much for them to work with here, with a story that is marred by contrivances and rehashed ideas. Actor-turned-director Tony Goldwyn (A Walk on the Moon, The Last Kiss) does about as good as he can with the material, but whatever decent ideas it has seems spread too thin to cover a full-length feature. The talented team is on the field but they don't have a defined game plan, which results in an uneven and unfocused effort.

Someone Like You is strictly for fans of the stars and those who like fluffy romantic comedies. You'll like the performances and the light nature of the story, but this is strictly dessert material. Everyone else should probably steer clear, as this the women-as-cow theory provides the only moments of interest. The rest is just plain bull.

 Qwipster's rating::

2001 Vince Leo