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Buy from Amazon

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20th Century Fox presents
Someone Like You (2001)

Jane: "What happend to your neck?
Eddie: I bit myself shaving."

- Jane (Ashley Judd) to Eddie (Hugh Jackman) (while noticing a hickey on eddie's neck)

Review By: Kevin Clemons   
Published: September 06, 2001

Stars: Ashley Judd, Hugh Jackman, Greg Kinnear
Other Stars: Marisa Tomei, EllenBarkin
Director: Tony Goldwyn

Manufacturer: CMCA
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content, and language
Run Time: 01h:57m:16s
Release Date: September 18, 2001
UPC: 024543023128
Genre: romantic comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C+ B-BB- B

DVD Review

Over the past few months I have vented in my reviews my frustration for any romantic comedy that follows the boy meets girl, loses girl, and gets girl back structure. Now along comes Someone Like You, and in the grand tradition of romance pictures, the events are obvious to nearly everyone except the characters on screen. Someone Like You fails to produce even the smallest spark of originality, though the performances by the supporting cast as well as the leads make the film tolerable to those who watch it.

Someone Like You tells the story of Jane Goodale (Judd), a talent coordinator for an up and coming New York talk show. As Jane goes about her day she argues with the shows writer and producer Eddie (Jackman), and falls in love with Ray (Kinnear), a new producer for the show. Though Ray is in the midst of a three-year relationship he begins to date Jane, and eventually falls in love with her, resulting in the two arranging plans to live together. After Ray begins to back out of the living arrangement, and out of Jane's life, Jane is forced to do the unthinkable and move in with the womanizing Eddie after losing her apartment. Just as Jane's life seems to be getting worse she is asked to write a perspective on the dating game for a magazine and she becomes an overnight celebrity, and the object of Eddie's affection.

From its plot Someone Like You looks to be a lighthearted, although slightly silly, look at dating and all of its related catastrophes. Unfortunately the finished product is anything but as director Tony Goldwyn meanders the plot along to a rushed climax that feels unnatural. Goldwyn, whose previous feature A Walk On The Moon was a fine effort, seems unsure how to handle the events that transpire here. Goldwyn litters the film with unnecessary subplots that never seem to go anywhere or have any light shed upon them. Such as the mystery woman whom Ray runs to after leaving Jane, and a strange moment when Eddie's ex-girlfriend shows up and scares him only to never be heard from again.

As for the ending, well, it's a mess. Those wondering how a man and a woman can unexpectedly find each other amongst a crowded street, or how a startling revelation can be handled so calmly, as though everyone knew the secret all along, will be left perhaps even more confused than they were starting out. Someone Like You has closing moments that rely on coincidence and audience gullibility, as well as a horribly inane monologue where Jane explains that she is a better person than she was before. That's fine, but what made her a better person? Goldwyn it seems wants us to see a great change in Jane as she moves throughout the plot, but that never happens leaving the ending without any sense of romance. The film wants to be an insightful look into the male psyche and why we act the way we do, but I kept thinking that I would kill to know those things about at least one of the characters.

If there is a reason that Someone Like You works, it is due largely to its wonderful cast. Judd, whose film work has ranged from thrillers to satires, makes her first appearance in a romantic comedy, and it is because of her that the movie is tolerable. Judd's presence in several scenes has a quality absent from most actress' working today, as her personality radiates in moments of joy and sorrow. Jackman, in his first role since X-Men, is the surprise of the cast, as his performance as the womanizing Eddie steals nearly every scene. Kinnear's performance would be noteworthy if it weren't merely a carbon copy of every other performance in his career. In supporting roles both Marisa Tomei and Ellen Barkin do nice work, but are both criminally underused.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Presented in its original 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio Someone Like You fails to be as eye popping as other recent releases by 20th Century Fox, yet the transfer is more than pleasing. The largest fault with the transfer is the overly soft look, which causes the print to lose clarity and become less film-like than in other scenes. Colors are both vibrant and muted depending on the scene, and the brighter moments come off looking especially well. Edge enhancement does occur several times, most notably in chapter 3, though it is never enough of a problem to distract from the overall presentation. In the end, for a film less than six-months-old I would have liked a better transfer, but what is here is certainly nothing to scoff at.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English and Frenchyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Someone Like You fails to cause the walls to shake with its Dolby Digital 5.1 mix though it is a well done effort. Dialogue comes across clearly from the center channel with the score filling the room with nice clarity and depth. Surround use is limited to the score and ambient sounds, with very little split surround activity. What is most concerning is that on my receiver the Dolby Digital mix is much quieter than the Dolby 2-channel track. Imagine my surprise as I changed audio tracks only to be fumbling for my remote as to not wake the neighborhood. Weird.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 22 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in Spanish, English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
5 TV Spots/Teasers
7 Deleted Scenes
1 Alternate Endings
1 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by director Tony Goldwyn
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extra Extras:
  1. Comentary by director Tony Goldwyn for each deleted scene
Extras Review: A nicely done commentary track by director Tony Goldwyn is the highlight of a handful of extra features. Goldwyn spends a large amount of time discussing casting and praising his actors for their work, especially Judd, on the track and while it does become repetitive Goldwyn always manages to keep things interesting. Perhaps the most interesting moments of the track are when the director discusses the numerous reshoots and rehearsals the cast went through. This is a nice commentary track, and certainly better than I had expected.

Seven deleted scenes are available with or without commentary by Goldwyn as well as an alternate ending. Overall each scene was rightly excised from the finished cut, and Goldwyn does provide several good reason as to why they were not included in the theatrical release.

Rounding things out are a short five-minute featurette, five television spots, and the original theatrical trailer.

Extras Grade: B

 

Final Comments

Those looking for a rental on a rainy day could do worse than Someone Like You, though I am not sure just how much. The DVD from Fox is worthy of praise, but sadly the picture is not. Rent it if you are bored and want to see two fine performances by Judd and Jackman, if not, then just skip it.

 


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