(2001) - Fox 2000 (20th Century Fox)
by Graham Greenlee of The Digital Bits
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
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
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.