US Release Date: 03-30-2001
Directed by: Tony Goldwyn
- Ashley Judd, as
- Jane Goodale
- Greg Kinnear, as
- Ray Brown
- Hugh Jackman, as
- Eddie Alden
- Marisa Tomei, as
- Ellen Barkin, as
- Diane Roberts
- Catherine Dent, as
- Peter Friedman as
Hugh Jackman and Ashley Judd in their underwear in Someone Like You.
So many things can affect how a movie is viewed. Your Mood, how you're feeling physically, a noisy person in front of you, a rude concession stand person can all affect your state of mind when you sit down to watch a movie. But perhaps, the biggest thing that can affect how a movie, is who you are watching it with. Which explains why I enjoyed Someone Like You as much as I did. If I had seen it with one of my brothers or a friend, instead of the woman I love, I would probably only be giving it two stars right now, instead of three. But, being in a romantic state of mind to begin with, only sharpened my reception for this particular movie.
Don't get me wrong, this is a good movie. Good cast, some humor, and even though you know exactly what is going to happen, thanks to both the predictability of the plot and the trailer which reveals all, you still leave the theatre feeling good.
Just in case you haven't seen the previews, let me break it down for you. Girl meets boy, they fall in love, boy breaks girl's heart, girl moves in with a male a friend, and since we all know, thanks to When Harry Met Sally, that men and women can't be friends, the obvious happens; girl falls in love with male friend. Trust me, unless you haven't been watching television or movies in the past two months, I'm not giving anything away.
If it seems like a weak plot, that's only because it is. In fact this movie almost tries to be the Seinfeld of Love Stories, relying on conversation between the characters, rather than plot points, to move the story forward. And so it is lucky that the movie is full of so many likable and attractive characters to keep our attention. Ashley Judd is sweet and cute without being overly wimpy or victimized, Greg Kinnear plays against type and manages the insincere, smarmy guy role quite easily, but it is Hugh Jackman who draws the most attention, with no little thanks going to the buff physique he developed while playing Wolverine in last summer's X-Men. And he also carries a presence with him that makes him attractive to women while at the same time, not putting men off at all. Marisa Tomei and Ellen Barkin also have small, underused, but well played supporting roles that add to the film quite well.
So while the plot is weak, and the pop psychiatry it spews is nonsense, thanks to a strong cast, this movie manages to remain enjoyable. Go and see it with someone you love, and if you find your date is attracted to Hugh Jackman, don't worry, Ashley Judd does a cheerleading routine in panties and a tank top that will more than make up for it.
Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman in Someone Like You.
The thrill for me in almost any love story and/or romantic comedy is how the couple first meet and the circumstances that eventually get them together: the odd, often funny first bump into each other; the sharp. quick witted banter that always leads to passion. Someone Like You lacks sadly on both accounts.
Ashley Judd plays one of those "single movie girls". You know the type; beautiful, witty, extremely pleasant and nice to everyone shemeets. So of course she can't find a boyfriend. I mean, who wants a girl like that?
She falls in love with a coworker, played by Greg Kinnear whose appeal as a movie star escapes me. Their relationship goes quickly in one direction then suddenly does a U-turn. On the rebound she platonically moves in with womanizing Hugh Jackman. You know the type. The guy that can have sex with any girl he looks at with out having any repercussions.
The set up is obvious but as unrealistic as the characters. The only reason given for her falling in love the first time is that she thinks he is good looking. The only reason she falls in love with Hugh Jackman's character is that she finds out he was once dumped. Who does she end up with? To me it didn't really matter.
There is some decent humor here. I liked Ashley's smoking scene. Marisa Tomei steals many scenes as the funny sidekick. Otherwise not much really happens.
Ashley Judd has the low maintenance, girl next door routine down pat. Hugh Jackman is going to single handedly bring hairy chests back in fashion. Both star do decent jobs, but they really have nothing to work with here. The unoriginal script offers neither actor a scene to really break out and act. They merely walk through the movie with neither character ever getting fleshed out.
This movie makes a pathetic attempt at intellectual conversations by having characters use words like biped and quadruped. The dialogue is crammed with pseudo pop psychological mumbo jumbo. Even Ashley's speech at the end of the movie, where she retracts all she has thought to be correct comes off sounding unsupported.
Two charming stars doing what little they can with some extremely shallow characters.
Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman in Someone Like You.
Though Someone Like You does have some humorous moments and features attractive leads and a talented supporting cast its flaws outweigh its good points. The basic premise, emotionally needy woman falls for the seemingly sensitive and honest guy only to find out he is a lying pig, then finds true love in the arms of a womanizing cad only to find that he is, in reality, a sheep in wolf's clothing, is fine. Unfortunately the story is slanted towards the woman's character at the expense of the men. She is the only one allowed to be a fully realized person.
The way it plays I don't think for a second that Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman's characters will stay together. That is not the way love stories should end. Either they ride off into the sunset or they tragically break up. The ambiguous ending is unsatisfying. We are not allowed to know his character well enough to believe that he can commit to this woman. We are supposed to accept that he is really a one woman man but because of a broken heart he became a callous jerk? Maybe if more scenes had been allowed to address this issue rather than the unnecessary subplot involving the older sister I would have bought it. It doesn't play as written.
Skip this one and rent When Harry Met Sally instead; the movie that Someone Like You is obviously, and vainly, trying to emulate.
Photos © Copyright 20th Century Fox (2001)