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Someone Like You

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Someone Like You

Starring: Ashley Judd, Hugh Jackman
Director: Tony Goldwyn
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 93 Minutes
Release Date: March 2001
Genres: Comedy, Romance

*Also starring: Greg Kinnear, Ellen Barkin, Marisa Tomei, Hugh Downs, Peter Friedman

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Review by Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4

With ideas gathered from the science section of that bastion of knowledge, The New York Times, talk show television producer Jane Goodale (Ashley Judd) develops a theory as to why her office romance with executive producer Ray Brown (Greg Kinnear) went so suddenly sour. She refers to her discovery as "the new cow theory." Bulls, it turns out, can't be tricked. Once they've serviced one cow, they are ready to move on to the next. Repeat business is of no interest to them. So, Jane decides, it must be thus with human male members of the animal kingdom.

The sweet and cute SOMEONE LIKE YOU is a whimsical romantic comedy which is compartmentalized into nifty sounding little chapters, including "Establishment of Intimacy," "The Vocalization of Emotions," and "A Call to Arms." You may not laugh a lot, but you won't mind since you'll be too busy being charmed.

Jane, the producer for Diane (Ellen Barkin), a new talk show host with Emmy ambitions, falls head over heels for Ray from the moment he joins the show's team. On the rebound from a spoiled three-year relationship, he returns her affection. Just before Ray jilts Jane, she gives up her apartment to move in with him. This forces her to accept the offer to share the apartment of the show's smart-mouthed writer, Eddie (Hugh Jackman), whom she loathes. An obnoxious smoker who lives a life of casual sex with a different woman nightly, Eddie is Jane's exact opposite. Judd portrays Jane as a shy, girlish type, who slurps on her straw, wears proper, little short sleeve blouses and can be coaxed into late night cheerleader demonstrations. Just as in magnets, opposites, of course, eventually attract.

In one of her typical supporting character parts, Marisa Tomei plays Liz, Jane's buddy and counselor in the ways of love. Liz is a failure with her own love life, but that doesn't dissuade her from dishing out non-stop advice to Jane. Jane also seeks help from a nose doctor. No, she doesn't want a smaller schnozzola. She wants the doctor to inhibit her ability to smell since whenever she gets a whiff of Ray in the elevator, she is reminded of how he "smells of soap, fresh laundry and vanilla," which drives her crazy.

As a way to work through her emotions after the breakup, Jane becomes a bookworm, reading everything she can on the male species in all forms of animals. "Men never fail to do what's in their nature," Jane cynically informs Eddie based on her research. Through a suggestion of Liz's, Jane turns her hobby into a famous sex column, which she writes under an assumed name in the magazine for which Liz works. Soon, everyone wants to find this mystery woman and interview her.

Director Tony Goldwyn (A WALK ON THE MOON), normally an actor, is certainly an actor's director. Letting his actors establish their own paces and rhythms, he comes up with a natural feeling, relaxed film that's easy to enjoy. Of course, having such a likeable star as Judd makes his job seem a lot simpler than it probably is.

SOMEONE LIKE YOU runs a fast 1:33. It is rated PG-13 for sexual content including dialogue, and for some language and would be acceptable for kids around 12 and up.

Copyright 2001 Steve Rhodes

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