"Someone Like You" is a short and likable romantic comedy based on the novel "Animal Husbandry" by Laura Zigman. In order to make it a more palatable movie, director Tony Goldwyn de-fanged the sharp bite of the book where all men are deemed scum and there is no happy, Hollywood romantic pairing waiting for heroine Jane Goodale (played by Ashley Judd on screen). But to the benefit of the film, toning down the book's bile makes Jane less an unlikable, dithering neurotic and more of a likable kook.
Ashley Judd does an excellent job with the script by combining emotional vulnerability and a solid comedic presence. She is at all times cute and adorable without sending a viewer into sugar shock. Hugh Jackman, in his first post-X-men role, brings a certain roguish charm and charisma to the chain-smoking and chain-f***ing Eddie. Besides her co-worker and roommate, Eddie is also Jane Goodale's living, breathing proof of her wacky theory that men are neophiliacs, and lose interest in women once they have "been serviced." (She calls this her New Cow theory.).
When Hugh Jackman and Ashley Judd are both on screen, the chemistry between them crackle. It adds a depth and nuance to their performances and characters' development. Too bad we are denied the pleasure of seeing them consummate their eventual (and very obvious) romantic pairing.
Greg Kinnear does a good job of combining slimy and sincere as the man who breaks Jane's heart, and starts her spiraling toward her New Cow theory. Marisa Tomei steals every scene she is in as Jane's enabler, best buddy, and fellow soldier in the romantic war. Marisa's chain-smoking Liz makes one wish that the movie was from her point of view, and that we could have watched cynical Liz trade verbal jabs and longing looks with Jackman's equally cynical Eddie.
The subplot concerning Alice's, Jane's sister, infertility troubles doesn't add much to the plot of the movie except to show at least one man (Stephen, played by Peter Friedman) in a steady and monogamous relationship. Catherine Dent, who plays Danni in the F/X drama The Shield and Jane's sister, has the best line in the movie: "If you can't stick [that needle] in a Valencia, how are you going to stick in my ass?"
"Someone Like You" isn't as forgettable as the lame title suggests, because of top notch performances of its stars and some memorable lines. You want fall off your seat laughing, but you will find yourself with at least a pleasing smile on your face. A word to the wise, stop the movie 5 minutes before it is scheduled to end and you'll enjoy it even more.