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Movie Review

Someone Like You

MPAA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPAA) for sexual content including dialogue, and for some language

Reviewed by: Susan Parker

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Romance Comedy
1 hr. 37 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
March 20, 2001
Relevant Issues
Ashley Judd in “Someone Like You”

True Love, how do you know when you’ve found it? Answer

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Dating Go

Featuring: Starring: Ashley Judd, Greg Kinnear, Hugh Jackman, Ellen Barkin, Marisa Tomei
Director: Tony Goldwyn
Producer: Lynda Obst
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox

I love a good romantic comedy, where the heroine and hero have a rocky beginning, usually dislike each other but feel oddly drawn to to one another. And, as their acquaintance progresses, they realize at some culminating point in the movie, that each is the other’s soul mate, the perfect man or woman, the undeniable desire of their hearts, the one they can’t live without—which the viewer, of course, can sense from the beginning.

Scene from “Someone Like You”

Although “Someone Like You” does have that basic formula, it fails to produce that warm fuzzy that a truly great romantic comedy inspires. The romantic comedy enthusiast will find this one a mediocre attempt. “Someone Like You” incites only a chuckle or two at best, and spends more energy on flaunting casual sex and a distorted view of relationships than on developing any depth to the characters and plot.

Jane Goodale (Ashley Judd), an employee of a TV talk show finds herself believing she’s in love with Ray Brown (Greg Kinnear), the talk show’s executive producer. After a short, seemingly wonderful six weeks of being in love, Jane and Ray get ready to take the next step—moving in together, but things just don’t work out. Out of desperation for a place to stay, she ends up moving in with Eddie (Hugh Jackman), another co-worker, who she doesn’t particularly like.

Unable to fully recover from her jilting, Jane becomes obsessed with her theory of why men can’t commit and compares the behavior of men to that of wild animals. She shares this idea with her best friend Liz (Marisa Tomei) who helps her voice her thoughts in a hugely successful editorial column, which at times is a source of contention between her and Eddie.

Ashley Judd turns in a quality performance as Jane Goodale and there are moments when you can see the potential chemistry between her and Eddie (Jackman), but it doesn’t seem to make up for the lack of character development and the lack of the normal buildup of attraction/tension you see in better romantic comedies.

Biblically, the primary problem with this movie is in its lack of morality. All of the main characters participate in pre-marital sex, Jackman is with a different partner almost daily and Kinnear cheats on his girlfriend when he first begins his relationship with Judd. But even more disturbing is the underlying sense in “Someone Like You” that sexual chemistry IS love.

In today’s world, of course, we are bombarded with the message that there is absolutely nothing wrong with pre-marital and casual sex and in fact, its pretty much something that everybody does. That message is evident in this movie. But the truth is, that sexual chemistry is only one small aspect of a loving relationship. God intended for sex to be part of marriage, a way of becoming one, the most intimate we can be with another human being. Only in the committed, vulnerable, and loving environment that marriage provides can we truly experience the FULLNESS of sexual intercourse, the way God intended it.

While this movie had no blatant nudity or sexual scenes, it heavily promotes casual sex and even seemingly rewards Jackman with the prize of “love” after his pairings with numerous other women.

Bottomline: if you want a warm fuzzy, and a glimpse of something with more substance—see “Return to Me” or “You’ve Got Mail.”

Viewer Comments
I know that several people were very offended at the sexual content in this movie, as I was. However, the rest of the movie makes up for its lack of discretion in that area. I thought that Jane Goodalle was one of the most realistic female characters I have seen in a long time in a movie. The movie really captured her quirkiness. Hugh Jackman has been one of my favorite actors since I saw him in “The X-Men,” and I was once again impressed. Unlike many reviews, I felt that he was an extremely likable character. Also, his habit of having a bunch of girlfriends was a result of his being hurt—he learned, just as she did, that his attitude towards relationships was irresponsible and wrong. Also, it is important to realize that the brother-in-law that both professional reviewers and regular viewers claim was dependent upon pornography… was not. That was a part of the fertility plan the couple was working on. They were trying desperately to have a child, and this was their last resort. Overall, “Someone Like You” was entertaining, sweet, and had a great moral lesson in it. And if you can’t figue out what that lesson is, you’ve missed the main point of the movie.
My Ratings: [Average / 4]
Liz, age 18
I believe that this was a good movie with only a little casual sex in it. I wouldn’t give a 5 star rating, but overall it was good!
Sara Dobens, age 35
I went to see this movie with a friend over Spring Break, we wanted to leave after the first 30 min. The beginning was horrible and it never got better. It was not at all what I expected. The idea you get of Eddie is bad, he always has someone new in his apartment the next day, it is wrong and disgusting. I felt so bad about taking my friend to this movie, I wanted to pay her back since she had to sit through, it was a total waste of money. Two Thumbs Down!
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 1]
Annie, age 18
I agree completely with Susan Parker’s review of this movie. If I would state it again, I would just rewrite what she wrote. I feel like the movie industry has been hit so hard with the AIDS epidemic that I can’t cease to be amazed that they aren’t working to turn around the trend of casual sex, which can lead to death. They obviously aren’t. They think that not showing skin is enough, I guess. The one, small redeeming point, not mentioned by Parker is Jane’s brother-in-law. He and Jane’s sister are struggling through the trauma of infertility. When they become pregnant but then subsequently lose the baby and Jane’s sister is in the hospital, while Jane is there, the brother-in-law comes in. He looks at his slightly older and tear bloated wife and pats her on the leg and makes a comment about how beautiful she is. it’s a very touching scene and is the thing that begins to turn Jane’s perspective toward men back around. She suddenly begins to realize that she may have had contacts with a lot of jerks, but they aren’t ALL jerks. The thing that I can’t help wondering about is how she could possibly think that with Jane’s obvious issues with men and Eddie’s sexual background, how it is that either of them could think they wouldn’t have some major problems in their relationship without some equally major healing and perspective change. If I had gone to this movie alone, I would have left, early on. it’s too bad because it could have been a pretty good movie, if it were handled differently.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 1½]
TacoBelle, age 46
We should have read reviews before we went! We were disgusted and walked out in the middle of the movie. It was so sad to see all the teens watching this movie. The choices made by these adults (role models—I think not) about love and sex made us sick!
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 2]
Ronda, age 31
This film is sexually immoral. A man and woman engage in sex, casual sex is supported by dialogue, unmarried men and women live together, a man who’s wife is infertile turns to masturbation and pornography to fulfill his desires, and love isn’t even considered and element of a couple month long live-in affair. While there was no violence here, there was plenty of cussing and one f-word. Men are portrayed with much cynicism and smoking and drinking of alcoholic beverages and shown throughout the film. What a waste of talent.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 2]
K.E., age Teen
…guaranteed to offend Christians with its worldview look at dating, alcohol and tobacco. …characters who smoke and a subliminal message on the usage of alcohol in solving problems… This forgettable movie is another example of the difference between dating views of Christians and Hollywood. Making it more offensive is its PG-13 message which targets young dating couples between 15 and 30. Stay away!
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 3]
David Mathis, age 58
Movie Critics
…some implied and partially seen sexual encounters of the casual variety…
…sends out dangerous messages of “everybody’s doing it” to teenagers… liberal attitude on sex…
Preview Family Movie and TV Review
…Jane’s “old cow theory” is embraced by a world looking for answers to excuse or rationalize the unfaithful sexual habits practiced by the male characters… To be monogomous is an act of the will, not a physical reflex action…
Michael Elliott, Movie Parables
…falls into the “garbage” category, despite the luminous presence of Ashley Judd and her pairing with Hugh Jackman
Anthony Leong, MediaCircus
…One F-word… several mild obscenities…