“Someone Like You” is a romantic comedy. Having said that, romantic comedies do not usually have very original plots. There”s a guy. There”s a girl. By the end of the movie they will fall in love. The end. “Someone Like You” is no different but it still manages to be quite an enjoyable flick.
The story starts with Jane Goodale (Ashley Judd) telling us a little known fact about cows and bulls. The long and short of the story being that bulls will only mate with new cows. If you try and get it to mate with a cow it has already mated with, they simply will not do it. So Jane, after getting dumped by what she thought was her true love, Ray Brown (Greg Kinnear), and knowing the “new cow theory” delves into research about animals and their mating patterns.
Jane discovers that most male animals are not monogamous and she runs with this theory, deciding that men, like animals, cannot be monogamous either. Jane publishes her newfound knowledge in an article using the name and picture of a 60-year-old doctor and becomes instantly famous for her profound thoughts.
After her awakening, Jane is surrounded by reinforcement for her theory, a perfect example being her new roommate, Eddie (Hugh Jackman, aka Wolverine from “X-Men”). Eddie is a womanizer and he doesn”t try to hide it. During the movie Jane makes a comment to Eddie about how he is a “romantic atheist.” Jackman is wonderful and does a great job making Eddie a likeable character even when he”s supposed to be the slick ladies man. There are times when Jackman can make you laugh simply through his facial expressions, a great comedic gift.
Ashley Judd is also terrific. Her character has a very Meg Ryan kind of quality to it, but with a little more bite and a little less sugary sweetness. She was cute but with the perfect amount of quirkiness to make her character real. There were many times when I felt as though I wasn”t just watching an actress in a movie, but a real person and I liked that. In one scene, Jane is unable to sleep because she is crying over Ray and she gets up to talk to Eddie. When she steps into the light, you see puffy eyes and traces of mascara running down her cheeks. It was little things like this that made all the difference.
“Someone Like You” has a great array of fun characters, from Jane”s zany best friend Liz (Marisa Tomei) to her dramatic and crazy boss Diane (Ellen Barkin). There is not a lot of character development in any of the minor characters, which is par for the course in these movies, but even so, from the snippets you do get of them, you still feel like you know and understand them.
Truthfully “Someone Like You” does not have a lot of major faults. Sure there are things that could have been improved upon. At the start of the movie, the story was told in a choppy segmented way, with chapter headings to begin new developments but this disappeared about halfway through the movie. Why did they disappear? Were they necessary in the first place? Probably not.
The plot, as mentioned earlier, was also nothing new, but you know most people don”t go to action movies for the acting so why should romantic comedies to be any different? People don”t go for the surprising plot twists and intriguing storyline, they go for the humor, the slight break from reality and that final kiss. The one you know is coming the entire movie. The one you label predictable when it finally does happen. But tell me, really, if it didn”t happen, can you honestly say you wouldn”t be just the least bit disappointed? That”s what I thought.