April 5, 2001

Likely Story

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If you’ve ever bemoaned the loss of a love in your life, please raise your hand. No, this is not a device to embarrass you in front of others. It merely shows that everyone has at times jumped into the cesspool of depression due to the end of a relationship. It is at this time that just about everyone is guilty of a decidedly bitter opinion of the opposite sex while wallowing in rejection. Therefore, all of you waving your hands in the air can relate to Ashley Judd’s antics as she forays into the land of love and loss in the romantic comedy, Someone Like You, directed by Tony Goldwyn.

Judd plays Jane Goodale, a television talent booker who falls in love in a whirlwind relationship with the new guy at work. Ray Brown, played by Greg Kinnear, is attractive, fun, and everything Jane wants, until he dumps her for no apparent reason a week before they are supposed to move in together. Homeless and heartbroken, Jane takes up residence in the empty bedroom of the apartment of another co-worker, Eddie Alden. Played by Hugh Jackman, Eddie is known throughout the workplace as a player with womanizing tendencies.

Although the television trailers and a fairly predictable plot forewarn the audience of the upcoming happy ending between Jane and Eddie, it allows the character development to shine as the movie’s most entertaining feature. Ashley Judd’s cyclic evolution through the euphoria of love to the cynical stage of heartbreak and back to euphoria is both highly amusing and realistic. Almost every female audience member can relate to her whiny stages of post relationship depression. From her discussion of the failed relationship with her best friend to her final realization that Ray Brown is a man to avoid at all costs, Jane is a character that every female can understand.

Unfortunately, while Judd’s character can and does carry the movie quite successfully, the lower caliber development of Hugh Jackman’s character is disappointing. Given that Judd is expected to portray such a dynamic character, one would have expected the same demands to be put on Jackman’s talents. However, the changes in Eddie from the man who sleeps with women to ease his own heartbreak to the man in love with one woman are so subtle they are almost non-existent. Even though he is given almost nothing to work with, Jackman succeeds in giving a decent performance.

Despite this flaw, Someone Like You is entertaining and shines with witty performances. There’s one word of caution — the movie is definitely geared more toward feminine sentiments. So gentlemen, unless you have a burning desire to know more about the mystical female psyche, it might be best for you to sit this one out.

Archived article by Katie Porch