Animal Attraction
US title: Someone Like You
dir Tony Goldwyn
scr Elizabeth Chandler
with Ashley Judd, Greg Kinnear, Hugh Jackman, Marisa Tomei, Ellen Barkin, Laura Regan, Catherine Dent, Peter Friedman, Colleen Camp, Matthew Coyle, Murielle Arden, Jess Platt
release US 30.Mar.01; UK 20.Jul.01
Fox 01/US 1h37
2 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
aka animal attraction Released under the awful, nondescript title Someone Like You in America, here in the UK it gets a name closer to the source novel, Animal Husbandry. And yes, animals feature into the fabric of this fairly predictable but rather charming rom-com. Jane (Judd) has what she calls a "New Cow Theory" that claims a man, like a bull, will always pass over a cow he's already had for a new one. In other words: Men are scum. She gets her best friend (Tomei) to publish her theory in a magazine under a pseudonym, spurring a nationwide debate (as if this is a new subject!). But it comes back to haunt her at her job as a TV producer working alongside her ex (Kinnear) and a wanton womaniser with a heart of gold (Jackman). Three guesses....

Gentle and cute, chatty and smart, the film at least holds our interest, mostly due to the sheer charm of its cast. Judd and Jackman are particularly good at creating real people we can identify with--their characters are natural and honest and often very funny. Barkin is also good fun in her role as Jane's boss, a feisty chat show host. Kinnear and Tomei fare less well in the standard roles they've built careers on: the nice-guy jerk and the sassy best pal. The problems start when things begin to sag in the final third; the story takes its time, wandering down a few distracting sideroads before reaching the requisite catharsis and a very obvious conclusion. Syrupy and silly ... and nothing new. After all the smart stuff in the first half, the film is ultimately corny and unconvincing. Judd and Jackman make it watchable anyway. But only just.
themes, language cert 12 16.Jul.01

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"Jane Goodale (Judd) falls in love with the perfect man (Kinnear) it seems - they co-sign a lease on a new apartment, she gives notice on her place (this is New York, places to rent are at a premium), and all of a sudden Mr Right backs out. They lose the cool new place, she is facing no place to live, so agrees to room with Jackman, the resident playboy at the office, who has pretty much slept with every woman he sees/knows/meets. Jane becomes obsessed with understanding the male animal, comes up with this 'new cow theory', and does research to prove her hypothesis (of course, deleting any material that disproves it). She gets to know the other side of Jackman, discovers he got dumped by a woman he was deeply in love with and has a more human side. He comforts her when she is down, while she meanwhile keeps spouting her theories to her friend, Marisa, who ends up writing this column on male behaviour under a pseudonym as a non-existent doctor. I really enjoyed this movie - Judd was excellent in showing her range of emotions, and Marisa was a great best friend. You can see how it will end, but is a fun ride getting there. There have got to be a lot of women out there who have been dumped, who are desperately trying to understand the male animal. I really recommend this movie also - go see it, it is worth it!" --Laurie T, Minneapolis 7.Apr.01
2001 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall