Animal Magnetism

A smart (though not completely original) commentary on modern relationships.

As a television producer, Jane Goodale (Ashley Judd) has a busy life and a promising career ahead of her, coaxing celebrities of all shapes and sizes to appear on her network talk show. This leaves her with almost no time for love...until she meets the charming Ray Brows (Greg Kinnear). Over a whirlwind couple of weeks, the two fall in love and even decide to movie in together....until Ray suddenly decides to terminate the relationship.

Confused and hurt, Jane moves in with her charming yet chauvinistic assistant Eddie (Hugh Jackman) and attempts to figure out why Ray (and by extension, all men) have trouble with commitment. Her research leads her to develop what she calls the "new cow" theory, leading to a nationally syndicated column lambasting men for their inability to commit and settle down with a single partner. Simultaneously, Jane is attracted to Eddie...even though all her instincts and research say that he's completely wrong for her.

A light romantic comedy, "Someone Like You" cleverly combines cutting-edge behavioural science with an old-fashioned love story. Well-directed, with numerous clever interludes, the movie shines both on account of its slightly unusual story and its smart (though not completely original) comments on modern relationships.

While the entire cast turns in strong performances, special mention should be made here of Hugh Jackman, who steals most of the scenes with some great comedic performances, and Ellen Barkin, who plays the ambitious, hard-nosed television anchor. Director Tony Goldwyn knows what he's doing - his camera is always in the right places - and, combined with a tight script and a story with some unusual twists, his efforts are well worth a trip to the theatre this weekend.

This article was first published on 04 Jun 2001.