Worth A Look: 7.14%
Just Average: 30.36%
Pretty Crappy: 28.57%
4 reviews, 32 user ratings
|Someone Like You
by Matt Mulcahey
Insulting Ashley Judd in Kentucky (where I live) is tantamount to mocking the Pope in the Vatican or perhaps calling Spock a "pointy eared half-wit" at a Star Trek convention.
I actually think if you’re overheard disparaging Ashley in Fayette County the citizens of Lexington are legally bound to tar and feather you.
But let’s be honest. Since becoming a "movie star" with Kiss the Girls the quality of Judd’s films has been on a downward trajectory.After hopping back and forth between wonderful indie fare such as Smoke and quality big-budget films such as Heat, Judd has appeared in a stream of disappointing studio movies such as the derivative Double Jeopardy, the pretentious Eye of the Beholder and the sugary Where the Heart Is.
"Ashley Judd shines, Someone Like You does not"
When finally Judd reminds us of how good an actress she can be (if you disagree with this point watch Ruby in Paradise), it is the film that lets her down.
Based on the book Animal Husbandry, Someone Like You is a paint-by-numbers romantic comedy where every scene gives a sense of deja-vu and every plot twist can be easily solved if you’ve seen even half of Meg Ryan’s video library.
Judd plays Jane Goodale, a talent booker for a talk show who’s very unlucky in love. She meets and falls in love with seemingly nice and caring co-worker Ray Brown (Greg Kinnear), who flakes just as the two have committed to moving in together.
With no place to live she is forced to room with chauvinistic, womanizing co-worker Eddie (Hugh Jackman). To be honest, I’m not sure why she’s "forced" to move in with this guy. She has a sister she’s very close to and a best friend (Marisa Tomei) who would have gladly taken her in.
But the script requires that they fall in love and how would that happen unless they live together and she sees he’s not such a bad guy.
This is where the fundamental problem arises in Someone Like You: The story just doesn’t work. The romance between Judd and Kinnear is never believable. They meet, and after a music-filled
montage, are in love.
Neither character is given proper depth before being plunged into the relationship and even though Kinnear is supposed to be the villain, he comes off more as a scared comittment-phobe than a soulless, heart-breaking monster.
Although the romance between Judd and Kinnear is ineffective, it seems like Romeo and Juliet compared to the romance between Judd and Jackman.
Also thrown in is a ridiculous subplot about Judd writing an article under a pseudonym that equates human males’ lack of commitment with that of livestock mating habits, which does allow for a funny intro on a farm and some humorous inserts throughout the film.
Middle of the road romantic comedies are certainly nothing new and are almost even expected, but what makes Someone Like You such a disappointment is how good Judd and Jackman are in the movie.
Judd plays both goofy comedy and heartbreaking emotional breakdowns with equal excellence, performing an old high school cheer one late insomnia-fueled night one minute and breaking down in tears for her hospitalized sister the next.
Jackman also proves to be an appealing romantic lead, a giant leap from his turn as Wolverine in The X-Men.
But most disappointing of all is the fact that this is
actor-turned-director Tony Goldwyn’s follow-up to the wonderful A Walk on the Moon. With A Walk on the Moon Goldwyn (sadly enough, still best known for playing the bad guy in Ghost), showed the changing landscape of American values in the summer of 1969, with man’s journey into space juxtaposed against the coming of age of a teenage girl and the rebirth of her middle-class mother.The film was realistic, original and emotionally honest. In short, everything Someone Like You is not.
But Ashley Judd is wonderful so don’t show up on my
porch with torches.
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originally posted: 04/04/01 23:54:41