by Greg Muskewitz
I don't really understand my obsession with movie titles, or at least the desire for unique titles, but it generally seems to bother me when studios, or directors, or whoever is in control of such things, alters an unusual, unique title, into something generic and dull. "Dancing About Architecture" becomes "Playing by Heart." The as-of-yet unreleased "Squelch" became the ordinary "Joy Ride," and so many more that I could write a whole column about that, but to lead into what got me here, the transformation of "Animal Husbandry" into "Someone Like You." Yawn. Not that it's false advertising, but doesn't that just ring Chick-Flick? Well, as if not to deceive by appearance, Chick-Flick it is, and it lays on that coating like Skippy Peanutbutter.Ashley Judd is the every-woman/luckless-with-love, thinks she has it taken care of when Greg Kinnear heats things up, but then leaves her out to dry. Distraught over her success-rate (moreover, lack thereof), she searches for what may be the cause, and traces the behavior to that of cows. Why? Because once a bull has knocked up the cows, he doesn't return to them again, and if he is to procreate again, he must be brought new cows. So as Judd carefully points out, "We're identified as already-serviced." She fights to prove her point, and her fictiously-named article goes on to be a hit, but her vehemence is so very indomitable, for as she puts it, "Because if this theory is wrong, all men don't leave women, they leave me!"
"All gushy and gooey."
How very convenient for her co-worker-cum-roommate, as synonymous with womanizing as Hannibal Lecter is with "human hunger" and Jackson Pollock is with alcoholism, they will end up together as predictably and as lamely as similar characters in teen movies do.
I wouldn't call "Someone Like You" bad, because it is what it labels itself as, and beyond that, it makes no promises that it can break. I'm just hard-pressed to say that this is a decent example of what girlie-movies should yearn to be like. It's so gushy and gooey. After all, this is thoroughly water-down, filtered, biased, predictable, vindictive, corny, and much more, but it passes by on some light charm mostly on the behalf of Judd. She has an unflattering scene jumping about in her undies like the cheerleader she was, but I give her credit for attaining the cutsieness she paraded around for. But her character seems like an extension, or familial relative of her Lexie character from "Where the Heart Is." (Just as lost, undiscerning, but quick on the gun --or knob, if you know what I mean.) The females seem to have a new lust toy with Hugh "Wolverine" Jackman, and he fits such ranks pretty well. Kinnear does his prick as unlikably and realistic as usual, and even Marisa Tomei has her amusing moments. But "Someone Like You" never breaks out of the crusty mold it was bourn into, and what little attempts it makes to branch out carry it nowhere. This is but another example of Big Hollywood (like Big Tobacco) cashing in on a formula, but with the same old ingredients instead of the harmful additives or addictiveness.Final Verdict: B-.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1869&reviewer=172
originally posted: 03/30/01 18:44:37