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review added: 9/4/02



Someone Like You
2001 (2001) - Fox 2000 (20th Century Fox)

review by Graham Greenlee of The Digital Bits

Enhanced for 16x9 TVs

Someone Like You Film Rating: B-

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): C+/C/C

Specs and Features
97 mins, PG-13, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced, single-sided, RSDL dual-layered (layer switch at 1:05:29 in chapter 15), Amaray keep case packaging, audio commentary with director Tony Goldwyn, behind-the-scenes featurette, 7 deleted scenes, theatrical trailer, film-themed menu, scene access (23 chapters), languages: English (DD 5.1 & 2.0) and French (DD 2.0), subtitles: English, French and Spanish, Closed Captioned


"I think it's always got to be about you. I mean, you meet some guy and all men are worthy of you. Then he dumps you, and suddenly they're all shit-sucking, commitment-phobic assholes. Come on, Jane! The whole world does not revolve around your romantic status!"

As spoken by Marisa Tomei's Liz, that line of dialogue sums up my somewhat cynical feelings towards all of the romantic comedy stars. You know, Julia and Meg and "Sometimes Sandra". They all play women who are victims of love, moping around until Tom Hanks or Hugh Grant shows up and falls in love with them. So I was very much relieved when Ashley Judd decided to try her hand at the genre, and I was not disappointed by her effort.

Judd plays Jane Goodall (not the monkey scientist), a booking agent for a daytime talk show. Her duties include trying to convince the guest that the show will not cover anything controversial (which of course it will), getting Castro to come on the show (yeah right!), and putting up with the machismo of Eddie, the show's producer (played by Hugh Jackman). But her world is turned upside when she falls in love with new producer Ray (Greg Kinner), THE perfect guy. He loves her just the way she is, and wants to move into her apartment. But things go suddenly, and unsubtly, awry when he dumps Jane on the curb like yesterday's trash.

Heartbroken, Jane believes that she's just lost the big love of her life, and not even her consoling best friend (Marisa Tomei) can comfort her. That is, until she reads an article in the newspaper about a study on male cows. It seems that once a bull mates with another cow, he never mates with the same cow again. Jane becomes convinced that this cow theory holds true to people, and gobbles up any bit of information she can about human behavior. Soon, a friend who works at a men's magazine convinces her to write an anonymous column about her theory. But even as she's becoming a secret success, she finds out that Ray had broken up with her to reconcile with an old flame. Does this make Jane's theory inaccurate? If the theory still holds, are Eddie's genuine advances just a way to mate with a new cow (?!) making them not genuine?

Though I'm a stickler for a good romantic comedy, I really felt strong about this one. It's got the right balance of head-over-heels romance and sharp-tongued cynicism. The film doesn't mind getting downright nasty towards men or making women look like scheming witches, but does redeem itself with an end result that is not only predictable, but perfect for the tone of the film.

Ashley Judd proves herself to be a successful romantic comedy actress, which absolutely delights me. I remember first seeing her on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and she has time and time again shown that she is great in those wonderfully over-dramatic suspense thrillers. But her like-ability and "bravery" as an actress make her perfect in this type of role, as she isn't afraid to make herself look pathetic or to say something that's perhaps demeaning. And several times, I found myself thinking the exact same comeback as she shouts at Hugh Jackman's Eddie.

Someone Like You is not the most remarkable movie, technically speaking, and the DVD's transfer is not the most amazing you'll see. Flesh tones seem too hot, and the deepest blacks seem to lack detail. Film grain is seen throughout, though it's not distracting, and there is a fair amount of noticeable edge enhancement. Still, the colors are presented accurately, and detailing is pretty good overall. Also included are 5.1 surround and 2.0 stereo tracks. There are very little differences between the two, and the 5.1 track makes very little use of the surrounds, not even in exterior scenes.

Extra-wise, the disc includes a screen-specific audio commentary with Tony Goldwyn, the film's director. As an actor himself, Goldwyn's comments are very actor centric, though I was genuinely interested in learning that even the small non-speaking parts are played by professional actors and the like. While he comments on what we see on screen, he does very little discussion on any challenges in making the film or what it was like as a director, something I would have much rather heard. Yet, it's somewhat entertaining, and I've certainly heard worse tracks.

Seven deleted scenes are included, non-anamorphically, and they aren't too interesting. They seem pretty slow-paced on their own, and I'm sure they would have stopped the film dead. Commentary by Tony Goldwyn is included, but his insights are basically summed up as, "These scenes don't work". An EPK behind-the-scenes featurette is included, and is pretty redundant if you've seen the film. The film's trailer and TV spots are also included, both non-anamorphically.

Someone Like You is well cast and works as a modern day look at romance and pop physiology. While it's not always perfect, and some jokes fall flat, it's a good date film that most men (if forced to watch) won't absolutely hate.

Graham Greenlee
grahamgreenlee@thedigitalbits.com




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