An udder dudder?
H. Bala | Carson - hey, we have an IKEA store! - CA USA | 11/12/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Even the movie title's bland, am I right? When it was first being pitched, a romantic comedy featuring Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman probably sounded like a solid no-brainer. But, without a good script, it not quite falls apart, but it does leave one with a feeling of "Err. Huh. What?" In the end SOMEONE LIKE YOU is a nice light romantic comedy, nothing more, nothing less. Something maybe worth catching on cable TV, but I don't know that I'd shell out money for the DVD. I didn't mind watching it, but the flaws were right there in your face.
Ashley Judd plays Jane, a producer on a daytime talk show and she thinks she'd met that special someone. Never mind that this guy (Greg Kinnear) already has a girlfriend. Jane and this guy hang out, hook up, get serious. But, on the verge of their moving in together into a new apartment, the guy breaks up with Jane. With Jane's old apartment already leased out to someone else, she takes up her co-worker Eddie's offer and becomes his platonic roomie in his spacious loft studio. And since Eddie (Jackman) is an unapologetic womanizer, Jane's regard for the opposite sex plummets even faster. One day, Jane reads an article in the paper and comes up with the "new cow" theory, this basically suggesting that a man always gets bored with banging the same woman and will always look for greener pastures. As a plot device to propel the story, it sucks. Instead of the lame pop psychology, a more apt theory is the one raised in When Harry Met Sally, which dictates that men and women can't be only friends.
Ashley Judd is sweet and yearning, and cute when her character is throwing a tantrum, and that one scene in which she performs a cheerleading routine while dressed in only her sexy scanties, well, that goes a ways in redeeming the movie for me. Hugh Jackman, back then fresh off playing the brutish and smelly Wolverine in X-MEN, doesn't come off as brutish or smelly here. This was before he landed those other romantic lead roles (Kate & Leopold, Australia) and before he hosted the Oscars - and I think most of us missed his star turn in OKLAHOMA! - so SOMEONE LIKE YOU may've been the first time we've seen him be all casually charming and cosmopolitan. Anyway, the two leads do the best they can with the shoddy material they're given, and they're appealing enough and go well enough together that they just about overcome a weak and lifeless plot. The supporting cast is good, and I can never get enough of Ellen Barkin and Marisa Tomei. Greg Kinnear is really excellent at playing the quietly sleazy part.
I like that Ashley Judd doesn't come off as too much of a weepy victim. But then she does get obsessed with drawing parallels between men and the bovine kingdom. She ends up publishing an article regarding her "studies" under the pseudonym of a much older woman. The kicker is that this article takes off and the mysterious author then becomes a much-in-demand guest star for the talk show circuit. It's dang uninvolving, the way this whole thing plays out, and the movie loses even more points for utilizing this plot device to resolve everything. The biggest flaw, though, is that the romance between the two leads comes out of nowhere. The film really could've done with more key moments to establish and develop Jane and Eddie's relationship. For most of the movie, Jane despises Eddie for his hound dog behavior, and Eddie just seems to cruise along his own merry way, bopping chicks left and right and not demonstrating one whiff of romantic interest for Jane. Then, late in the flick, Jane realizes that she loves him, and vicey-versy. It's a heck of a leap, and there's nothing truly suggested in Eddie's character that would indicate he's become a one-woman dude.
I do like the switcheroo aspect in that Kinnear's character is regarded initially as the sensitive, thoughtful guy only for him to turn out to be a weasely scuzzbucket. And then there's Jackman's Eddie, on the surface a shallow one-night-stand kind of cat but who does have a chivalrous side. And did I mention Ashley Judd in her undies jumping up and down doing a cheer? It's what makes this fluffy film relevant to me. Heck, I may end up buying the DVD after all."