Mark Reviews Movies


2 Stars (out of 4)

Director: Tony Goldwyn

Cast: Ashley Judd, Greg Kinnear, Hugh Jackman, Ellen Barkin, Marisa Tomei

MPAA Rating: (for sexual content including dialogue, and for some language)

Running Time: 1:37

Release Date: 3/30/01

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Review by Mark Dujsik

Someone Like You revolves around a theory that can easily be seen through and, by the end of the movie, is thrown away for a monologue from which I honestly cannot remember a single phrase. It’s the Old Cow/New Cow Theory which is based on the mating habits of bulls. Apparently, bulls will mate with a cow, and then never mate with her again. No matter what you do to that cow, the bull knows he’s been there, done that.

Jane Goodale (Ashley Judd), yes, like the chimp woman, thinks this theory pertains to human men also. If she’s right, there’s a reason men leave her—it’s part of their nature. Eddie Alden (Hugh Jackman) works with Jane and is the perfect specimen for the Old Cow/New Cow Theory. He loves women and leaves them with no future contact. However, she thinks she’s found the right man for herself in Ray Brown (Greg Kinnear) who also works at the talk show with Jane and Eddie.

Ray has had the same girlfriend for three years, though. But after some meetings, the two start a relationship. Ray cannot bring himself to tell his girlfriend though to the chagrin of Jane. When he finally breaks it off with his girlfriend, Jane is shocked to discover that he is slowly but surely losing interest in her. Apparently, she has forgotten that he started the relationship with her while he was dating someone else and is therefore more prone to leave her than most other men. There’s a lesson here she should have learned a long time ago, and that is if the person you are seeing needs to leave someone else to see you, he or she will most likely end up leaving. Well, Jane reads an article about the cows and starts thinking it will apply to men. Then she comes up with her theory.

Did I mention she also ends up living with Eddie? That’s right. The man who she finds disgusting, she ends up living with. Can anyone see where this movie is heading? Well, I did quite quickly. These romantic comedies have become so predictable, it’s sad. The ending is set up for us very near the beginning, so the only way to actually judge the movie is to talk about how it gets us to the end. Someone Like You is better than, say, The Wedding Planner, another romantic comedy released earlier this year, but falls incredibly short of something like, say, High Fidelity. Unlike The Wedding Planner, some of the comedy here works.

Ashley Judd had such promise when she started appearing in movies. She received raves for her performance in Ruby in Paradise and went on to appear in some high-quality films such as Smoke, Heat, and the overlooked Normal Life. But recently, she has made a string of mediocre movies were she is forced to play a type. She was a victim in Kiss the Girls, a strong woman in Double Jeopardy, and here she is basically playing "cute." She does it well—much better than most—but it seems like a waste. Hugh Jackman who was effective as Wolverine in X-Men is effective again in his role. Even though it seems like a plot-device, he plays the wounded man covering up his insecurities well.

There’s a line in the movie where one character asks what a post-feminist woman is supposed to do in the world today. I actually started wondering what the role of a post-feminist woman is. If I understand this movie right, a post-feminist woman is a successful one whose life revolves around finding a man. Why does Jane need to find a man? I now realize why I appreciated the simple, refreshing lesson of Nurse Betty. Hollywood needs to realize that it’s not the '40s anymore; women don’t need a man to be happy.

Someone Like You gives a few smile-moments—maybe even a few laughs. It has a lot of problems too. I just can’t understand why anyone thought a woman would be able to give an entire monologue to a camera during a live broadcast. Wouldn’t someone cut her off? I doubt she’d be able to finish a full thought before...

Copyright © 2001 by Mark Dujsik. All rights reserved.

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