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Someone Like You (April 5/01)

I was lucky enough to walk into Someone Like You without having seen any of the promotional materials for it. The trailer, TV ads, articles, nada. I knew nothing of this movie other than the stars and that it was directed by Tony Goldwyn and that it used to be called Animal Husbandry. I was lucky in that respect and if you're lucky enough to not know anything about the film either, why are you reading this? Go see the film and then read this. Trust me, I now know that Someone Like You is a heck more enjoyable if you know nothing about it.

I say that because after I got home, I finally watched the trailer and boy, they give the whole thing away. Watching the movie, I had no idea that Ashley Judd and Greg Kinnear (who get together early in the film and appear in love) would break up. I had no idea that Judd would wind up living with her (supposedly) sleazy co-worker Hugh Jackman. And I certainly didn't realize that Judd and Jackman would eventually fall in love. As the film unfolded I found out about the various developments that were flippantly given away in the trailer, so I suppose I'm a little biased. I probably would have liked this movie a lot less had I known exactly what was going to happen, because really, there's not much else going for this movie.

Judd stars as a young woman working at a daytime talkshow, who spends most of her days complaining about her lack of male companionship to her best friend (Marisa Tomei). One day, though, she meets Kinnear and the two seem blissfully happy, going so far as to (almost) buy an apartment together. He abruptly drops her for no reason and she's back to complaining, but now, she's about to be homeless so she moves in with Jackman. Meanwhile, Judd has secretly written an article for a famous women's magazine about how men are like cows and this brings her more attention than she ever wanted.

Someone Like You is one of those bubbly, frothy (hmm, how many adjectives for enjoyable can I throw in here?), charming (ok, that's enough) romantic comedies that doesn't get made too much these days. And when it does, it usually features two leads that look like they should be appearing on an episode of Dawson's Creek. Actually, that was quite refreshing about this movie; the leads are all over the age of thirty. This is something that used to be taken for granted, but now seems so different and radical when it actually happens. So many movies nowadays star kids (literally) that you almost forget that adults can play roles other than the disapproving father or the concerned teacher.

While Judd and Kinnear are both quite good, it's Jackman that completely steals the show. The only thing I ever saw him in before this was as Wolverine in X-Men, so I really didn't know what to expect from him. Well, it turns out that he's about as charismatic and charming as any of the more well-known actors out there. Not only does he completely outshine his co-stars in all his scenes, when he's not there, you can feel it. Luckily, though, Judd is up to the task of going up against Jackman. She's very cute and relaxed here, as is Kinnear.

The problem with the film, then, is overlength and the lack of a real plot. Once Judd and Jackman are living together, the film doesn't really have anywhere to go. Although, I can't really complain because it didn't occur to me until close to the end that Jackman and Judd were going to get together. Actually, her realization that it's Jackman she really wants sort of comes out of nowhere. She's spent much of the movie disliking him and the latter half only marginally tolerating him, but now she's in love with him?

But these are qualms that shouldn't be raised when viewing a romantic comedy. The only thing that matters is whether or not the leads are likable and have chemistry. And in the case of Someone Like You, that's a yes.

And if nothing else, see the movie for Jackman's amazing performance. You'll probably wind up wishing he were in more of it...

out of

© David Nusair