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Laramie Movie Scope:
Someone Like You

A polished romantic comedy with first-rate acting

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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July 2, 2001 -- Romantic comedies have long been a staple of American cinema, and "Someone Like You" is very solidly in that tradition. It is a well-directed, polished production with top-notch acting talent.

Making a successful romantic comedy is not easy. It is a balancing act. It is difficult to sustain the romantic tension for more than an hour. This screenplay, by Elizabeth Chandler ("A Little Princess"), achieves that goal by using a romantic triangle with a bit of a twist. Jane Goodale (played by Ashley Judd of "Where the Heart is") is attracted to Ray Brown (Greg Kinnear of "The Gift"), but through a quirk of fate ends up with playboy Eddie Alden (Hugh Jackman of "Swordfish") as a roommate when she loses her apartment lease.

After being dumped by Brown, Goodale (pronounced Goodall, like the primate researcher) does some research and comes up with an elaborate theory about why men sleep around. It is based on research into the mating habits of cows. Bulls don't want to mate with cows they've already mated with. She concludes that Brown doesn't want her any more because she is an "old cow." Her theory becomes so elaborate that her friend, Liz (Marisa Tomei of "What Women Want"), persuades her to start a magazine column expounding her views. To give the column more credibility, the two come up with a fake name, fake academic credentials, and even a fake photograph of an older woman. The column becomes a hit.

Goodale is attracted to Alden, but he represents the embodiment of her theory. A notorious womanizer, he is unwilling and seemingly unable to comit to a prolonged relationship. Then Brown approaches Goodale, hoping to reconcile their differences. It is a surprisingly effective romantic triangle. Nothing is quite what it seems to be on the surface. The screenplay plays with feminism and male chauvenism with equal alacrity. Both Judd and Jackman play both strong and vulnerable, revealing their romantic wounds to each other, but doing what is necessary to get on with their lives. Kinnear is adept at being smooth, oily and treacherous. Tomei, Ellen Barkin (of "Drop Dead Gorgeous") and the rest of the supporting cast, are top-notch.

Tony Goldwyn shows just the right touch as a director, as he did in his last film, "A Walk on the Moon." Goldwyn, a long time actor in Hollywood, is a newbie director, but a good one. As you would expect, he gets the most out of his actors, but he also gets the most out of the script. The film is very slick, with solid production values; a strong, professional product. It rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2001 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)