I looked forward to this movie with joy. As much as I enjoy Ashley Judd, Greg Kinnear, and Hugh Jackman, the advance reviews proclaiming this the "romantic comedy of the year" left me feeling anxious. Whenever I read reviews like that, I almost always end up disappointed. I normally disagree with most critics. I tend to believe that movies are supposed to be entertaining - who cares if they don't have any socially redeeming value? I don't go to movies to learn history, psychology, or for that matter, to learn about romance. I go strictly to be entertained. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a film that taxes my brain, and leaves me wondering the meaning behind the director/writer/actor's motivations. However, being brutally honest, the main reason I spend money and sit thru 2+ hours in a dark theatre is to enjoy the film without having to overly exert my brain cells.
With that said, "Someone Like You" should have been right up my mindless alley. Based on the novel "Animal Husbandry" by Laura Zigman, Judd stars as Jane Goodale, a woman confused by men and searching for a logical explanation behind being dumped. She comes up with the "New Cow Theory." The theory, based on research done on actual cows, states that bulls will dump their old cow for a new cow, after having their way with them. Once they've had the new cow, they lose interest and look for other new cows. Jane likens men to cows - unable to be satisfied with the cow they have, constantly in search of a new, fresh, cow.
Against her seemingly better instincts, Jane enters into an affair with co-worker Ray (Kinnear), the new Executive Producer of the talk show they both work on. Ray is in a long-term relationship already, but breaks it off and proclaims his love for Jane. Surprise! Ray ends up dumping her just as they are about to move in together, which leaves her with no choice but to take up another co-worker's (Eddie - played with style by Hugh Jackman) offer of a room in his apartment. Eddie is a womanizer, but with a sharp wit and heart of gold.
Meanwhile, Jane's best friend Liz (Marisa Tomei), suggests she take her newfound "cow" knowledge and write a column for "M Magazine," her employer. Using a fake name, fake credentials, and matronly-looking photo stolen from the obituaries, Liz's magazine publishes Jane's column, creating an instant media phenomenon. Every major media outlet wants an interview with the author of the column, but Liz and Jane conspire to keep her true identity a secret. Even Jane's talk-show host boss, Diane Roberts (played by Ellen Barkin), is practically salivating at the prospect of snagging an interview with the creator of the "New Cow Theory."