Bovine sexual behaviorisms, men in love, and women ruined; “Someone Like You” has all this and more, folks.
Ashley Judd is a sparkling Jane Goodale, a small-time TV talent representative who just wants a successful relationship. Intrigued by the Discovery Channel and animal behavioral sciences, she embraces the “old cow, new cow” theory. This theory is based upon the fact that a bull will only have relations with a female cow once, and then have nothing else to do with her.
Taken chapter by chapter, “Someone Like You” is a humorous trek through Jane’s relationship traumas, as well as bovine sex theories as linked to male romantic behavior.
Greg Kinnear is the nice but befuddled and flawed man of the hour, Ray Brown. Kinnear has played this role so many times in other movies. It is almost disappointing to see him do it again. Pigeon-holing oneself into a stereotype is probably not the best move.
He does well, though it is in no way a memorable performance.
Beginning as a wonderful forest fire of romance and passion, the relationship between Jane and Ray dwindles to ash in a matter of weeks. With Ray as the model of ineptitude in terms of communication, Jane turns to the Discovery Channel for answers. The conclusion: Ray seems to have the old-cow-new-cow complex.
There is no question that this is a chick flick. “Someone Like You” is the movie you want to watch with a bunch of your female friends or drag your boyfriend to if he’s done something bad. It’s an optimistic, but realistic, interpretation of the quest women embark on right around the age of sixteen.
Trite observations are made, such as “you WILL love again,” but it’s disguised just enough so the audience isn’t groaning or snoring. Rather than being a sappy “Sleepless in Seattle” flick, “Someone Like You” examines what happens when the perfect relationship becomes the perfect nightmare.
There is no expense spared in terms of realism; Judd portrays Jane just the way women are after a break-up: whiny, angry, and self-absorbed. If only more women had a man like Hugh Jackman’s character, Eddie, to help them get over themselves.
Eddie is the man least likely for a relationship. Having casual sex as regularly as he eats, he comes off as a slut and a slime ball, BUT…
Eddie is the voice of reason for Jane; without him to kick her in the ass when she starts moping and comparing people in relationships to cattle, he is there. Though he seems to embody all that is repulsive about male sexual behavior, at least he keeps himself honest.
As for the supporting cast, Marisa Tomei does an excellent job in her role as Jane’s compassionate, slightly neurotic best friend Liz. The role seems made for her, and she is so high energy it is easy to forget who got the top billing for the film.
Ellen Barkin is also noteworthy as the low budget television talent Diane, Jane’s boss.
Based on the novel Animal Husbandry by Laura Zigman, “Someone Like You” is a conglomeration of common women’s opinions and misconceptions about men, romance, and love. Watching Jane get off her high horse of romantic notions to enter the real world is thoroughly enjoyable, if not a little bittersweet.
Though incredibly predictable (the previews give away the entire movie with this one), performances given by Judd, Jackman, and Tomei make this one worth seeing—when it comes out on video.