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New in Theaters for the Weekend of
March 30 - April 1, 2001

Someone Like You

Is Ashley Judd condemned to a life of being the pretty lady who is best known for her panties? Think about it. A few years ago, Ashley stunned the crowd and home viewing audience when she sauntered across the stage at the Oscars with a dress slit in the middle all the way up to her, well, let's just say we all know she was wearing panties. Now, the commercials for Someone Like You prominently feature Judd jumping around in a cutoff T-shirt and skimpy little blue panties. Unfortunately, her reputation is going to overshadow her acting talent if she doesn't make better choices.

Judd stars as Jane Goodale (Pronounced Goodall. That becomes annoyingly important later on in the film.), the producer of a nationally syndicated, television talk show. To help with the recent move to national status, a new executive producer, Ray Brown (Greg Kinnear), with experience is brought in to help. Of course, office love blooms between Jane and Ray, even though he has a long time girlfriend (uh-oh!). Before you know it, Jane and Ray are deeply, madly in love, but problems start to creep up.

Will Ray and Jane be able to have true love? Is it meant to be? Can Ray dump his long time girlfriend?

That part of the movie is fine, but writers Laura Zigman and Elizabeth Chandler, as well as director Tony Goldwyn (A Walk On The Moon), lose focus. To stay true to the novel, Animal Husbandry (from which the movie is taken), Jane develops a relationship theory that equates men and their behaviors with animals We are small minded, roguish, irresponsible Gorillas in the Mist to Miss Goodale. The character becomes fascinated with this study, however, it goes too far when Jane becomes a relationship writer for her friend's (Marisa Tomei as Liz with a great turn as the sassy best friend) weekly magazine. Maybe I am offended as a man, but I feel this is the weakest part of the film. The second act is like a rudderless boat desperately trying to find its way out. The plotline takes away from the more interesting love triangle between Jane, Ray and Eddie Alden (Hugh Jackman), another producer on the show.

The film has three great actors and doesn't use them enough. Ashley Judd shows good comedic ability and sparkling charm as the lovelorn producer. Women in the audience will find her to be a representative of their problems with men, while men in the audience will be taken by her cuteness. It's a well-rounded performance that calls on her to struggle with many everyday difficulties.

Greg Kinnear continues to show why he will win an Oscar someday. He is equally adept at playing the sexy, confident Ray Brown we all love as well as the sniveling, lying, weak Ray Brown we all hate. His best moments are at points that are critical to the plot, so I won't give too much detail.

Hugh Jackman does a good job as the third leg of the love triangle, but he is underused. Jackman plays Eddie, the morally challenged co-worker who is despised by women, but they can't resist him. He has a new lady every night, but isn't interested in a long-term relationship (the man women love - a challenge). Jackman, best known for his role in The X-Men, shows he can carry off a romantic comedy with style. Like I said, the women can't resist him even when he is a jerk.

Someone Like You is a movie you can live with. You won't be angry that you spent your hard earned money to see it, and the film uses enough foreshadowing to keep your interest during that horrible second act that destroys what could have been a good film. So here's what you do.

If you are a guy, and your wife/girlfriend REEEEEAAALLLLY wants to see it, put up a mild opposition and make her promise that you get to choose the next film. That way you get your cake and eat it too. She's happy you sacrificed to see her movie, but you can get a little enjoyment out of it. However, it could have been much more.
Grade: C+

Copyright 2001 - WaffleMovies.com