Picks and Pans Review: Someone Like You
It's a rule of romantic comedy that when a man and a woman clash early on, they will end up in each other's arms by the closing credits. Without giving away too much of Someone Like You, let's just say that this overly contrived example of the genre isn't out to bend, much less break, the rules.
Jane (Judd), who spends her days booking big-name guests for a Manhattan-based national talk show, is single and looking. Within her direct sight line are two handsome potential Mr. Rights. There's Eddie (Jackman), the show's director, a constant target of Jane's withering sarcasm for his seemingly compulsive womanizing. "Eddie," she confides in a voice-over, "was enough to make me lose hope for all men." Prospect No. 2 is Ray (Kinnear), the show's puppy-dog-eyed new executive producer who begins wooing Jane, despite having a steady girlfriend of three years' standing. Within six weeks he is declaring that he loves Jane and that they should move in together. Which of her coworkers is the true cad? Hint: Ray makes his declaration with two-thirds of the movie still to come.
Someone tries to milk laughs by having Jane natter on and on about the laws of animal behavior. She formulates what she calls the New Cow Theory, likening men to bulls and women to cows. Bulls, as she sees it, mate with a cow for a single encounter and then seek a new cow the next day. Her constant harping ("Did you know," she asks, "that less than 5 percent of male animals are monogamous?") wears out its welcome long before Jane finally discovers that her theory is udder nonsense.
Judd is effective in her quieter moments, but she lacks that dazzling charm that makes a romantic comedy heroine someone you root for despite her trying behavior. (Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock can rest easy.) Jackman (X-Men) is appealingly rugged in an underwritten role, and Kinnear might want to talk to his agent about moving beyond Milquetoast parts. (PG-13)
Bottom Line: Nothing to moo about