Jan 5, 2015

Review: Someone Like You... (2001)

Someone Like You... is based off of a novel called Animal Husbandry by Laura Zigman. Published in 1998, it was her first novel ever and since then she's built a slightly successful career writing female literature. AH is her only real claim to fame though but still, it's not like everyone gets a movie based on one of their books right?

With Ashley Judd, Hugh Jackman and Greg Kinnear, Someone Likes You... seems like it could at least be pleasant with names like that. I'm really not the biggest fan of Ashley Judd in movies, but I do respect her. She seems like a smart lady and even has a couple of degrees in her pocket. Hugh Jackman is the bigger deal here to me with having already appeared in the first X-Men movie in 2000.

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Genre: comedy, romance
Directed by: Tony Goldwyn
Produced by: Lynda Obst, Jim Chory
Written by: Elizabeth Chandler
Music by: Rolfe Kent
Running time: 97 minutes
Production company: Fox 2000 Pictures, Lynda Obst Productions
Distributed by: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Fox 2000 Pictures, Gemini Kinomir, etc.
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $23,000,000
Box office: $38,689,940 (Worldwide)

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: Ashley Judd, Greg Kinnear, Hugh Jackman, Marisa Tomei, Ellen Barkin, Catherine Dent, Peter Friedman, Laura Regan, Sue Jin Song, Keith Reddin, Derick Karlton Grant, Donna Hanover

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Synopsis


Jane Goodale (Ashley Judd) is a production assistant for a talk show. She doesn't get along all that well with the current producer Eddie Alden (Hugh Jackman) who is way too casual with his relationships. With the show they're working on quickly on the rise, a new producer is brought on board: Ray Brown (Greg Kinnear). Jane is attracted to him pretty much right away, but unfortunately he already has a girlfriend.

Review


Someone Like You... has this thing with comparing the mating habits of male cows (bulls) and males of the human species. I'm no farmer so I don't know if this is true or not, but bulls apparently only mate with a female cow once. Despite any attempt, you can't fool a bull who will always want "new cow." Men are exactly the same according to main character Jane Goodale which is why they're incapable of being loyal.

This point of view is all told by Jane's narration. Personally, I'm really picky about narration and this is one of those times where the narration is unnecessary and distracting. I realize that SLY... is using a book as source material, so it's not that surprising that narration is one of the tools that scriptwriter Elizabeth Chandler decided to use. There's just something about Ashley Judd's deadpan delivery that irks me and the humour that tries to get itself across in these scenes doesn't really work for me.

There's pretty much nothing positive to say about this film at all. Overall, the film alternates between flat or bad which makes it a bit of a hard watch. Some of the bad scenes are so bad that they're flat out embarrassing to watch. (Spoilers) Take a scene where Jane bonds with Eddie after she's moved in with him. She sneaks out of her room in her underwear and gets some leftover Chinese food before Eddie also emerges out of his room also in his underwear to the embarrassment of Jane. Know what she does after being hand-fed some noodles? She does a cheerleading routine, completely forgetting her embarrassment from before. It's just not believable in any way and it's achingly awkward. (End Spoilers)

Predictability is predictably another problem where every plot point becomes clear long before it actually happens. Characters are also quite uninteresting since we've seen them all before. Everyone knows Eddie the womanizer, Ray the nice guy and Liz (Marisa Tomei) the advice-giving girlfriend. No one needs to see these characters again. Someone Like You... is top heavy with its talent, but not one of them is able to rise above the middling material that's given to them.

Also, what's with Ashley Judd's character always eating? Pretty sure it's a mix of trying to make her a regular woman who eats as well as a product placement opportunity. It's just super annoying though. So much so that I was reminded of Sean Bean's small role in Death Race 2. He always cracked me up because he was eating something in literally every scene he was in. The effect isn't the same at all in Someone Like You.. of course.

Someone Like You... is only really suitable to watch if you happen to be doing something and you need some background noise. It's not a story worth investing in and it's pretty lame all the way through. It features some pretty big actors though which is about the only thing it has going for it.

Rating


5/10