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:: Someone Like You

This movie is adapted from Laura Zigman’s novel “Animal Husbandry”, and it primarily serves the purpose of showcasing the acting talents of Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman. In this Tony Goldwyn (A Walk On The Moon) film, Ashley Judd plays Jane Goodale, a woman struggling to find meaning in the heartbreaking realities of romance by studying the behavioural patterns of men. When, at the start of the film, we observe the mating pattern of cows, the tone is set where Jane concludes that men are looking for new cows.

Her theories result from personal experience caused by one such man Ray (Greg Kinnear). Jane books guests for a TV talk show hosted by Diane Roberts (Ellen Barkin). Her fellow booker Eddie Alden (Hugh Jackman), an uncompromising ladies’ man, is a good friend to Jane despite proving her worst thoughts about the behaviour of man. Ray comes in as the new executive producer of the show and, although he has a long-standing girlfriend, starts flirting with Jane. Jane falls for him.

The cow theory comes to fruition for Jane. She falls apart when she learns that Ray wants to withdraw from this relationship just as it reaches the stage of commitment. She gives up her apartment and moves in to room with Eddie. Jane then decides to get to the biological root of the problem. She confides in her best friend Liz (Marisa Tomei), a magazine editor, who has experienced similar emotions.

Jane starts to research the “new cow” theory about men, in that they are always looking for someone new as a sex partner, once they get bored with the “old cow”. Liz convinces Jane that she’s on to something and talks her into writing a column for the men’s magazine where she works. Jane agrees but only if she can hide behind a pseudonym. It’s interesting to see the story develop thereafter.

Ashley Judd is glorious and confident as the lead character. She adds heart and meaning to her role, and has a tremendous chemistry with Hugh Jackman. Perhaps a little unpredictability in the role could have made for an even better character. Jackman grows during the course of the movie and is probably the best character all things considered. He injects life and zest into every scene in which he appears, and his charm and demeanour is unforced and very watchable, particularly in playing the role of a wicked playboy. Greg Kinnear does a capable job in playing the emotional turns of his character. He elicits complex reactions: one minute you like him; the next minute you loathe him. And Marisa Tomei, who only ever seems to get light roles these days, gives great energy in her performance. She needs a juicier role now.

“Someone Like You” aims to amuse and delight, with director Tony Goldwyn orchestrating the movie’s gifted and attractive cast with finesse, and maintaining the right substance. In the difficulty of getting it right with the romantic comedy genre, Goldwyn does well in offering us this funny look at generally likeable people and heartfelt issues.

Screening on general release including the Dendy Brighton, Rivoli Cinemas, and Cinema Europa Southland