SOMEONE LIKE YOU (2001)

Directed By: Tony Goldwyn 
Written By: Elizabeth Chandler
Based On The Novel “ANIMAL HUSBANDRY” By: Laura Zigman
Cinematography: Anthony B. Richmond 
Editor: Dana Congdon

Cast: Ashley Judd, Hugh Jackman, Marisa Tomei, Greg Kinnear, Ellen Barkin, Donna Hanover, Catherine Dent, Nicole leach, Peter Friedman, Colleen Camp, Mirelle Enos, Veronica Webb, Naomi Judd

After being jilted by her boyfriend, a talk show talent scout writes a column on the relationship habits of men which gains her national fame.


Way before the ADELE song on the same name. This movie came around when Ashley Judd was getting used to being a star. This was the film where it would really rest on her shoulders.

The problem is that this film is so generic. That even at the time it came out there felt outdated. It’s one of those films that came out in the 90’a and while you can tell it is a studio film it still comes across as no-frills. As there is no particular style everything’s made to look bland. So that when something that looks sharp in style and person. It is jarring. The film feels like it could have been a storyline on the television show FRIENDS rather than getting its own movie.

It also feels like everyone is too for their roles and especially to still have the character’s mindsets.

This film is disposable. So disposable I watched it recently and don’t remember much of this film. I know enough that I would never watch it again.

Hugh Jackson plays a cad who somehow becomes roommates with a co-worker played by Judd. She has recently broken up with her boyfriend and at first, they can’t stand each other (then why live together in the first place. It is New York after all so I guess desperate measures) slowly but surely, of course, they fall in love and he changes his ways.

I enjoy Hugh Jackman a lot. He is like one of those classic leading men from the 1940s and ’60s and at least the film in a scene shows why his character is so jaded and cruel as a ladies’ man. Though here he rarely has any chemistry with his female co-stars which really doesn’t help if you are making a romantic comedy. (Nor does the theory of double negative where the chemistry is supposed to be bad that it comes off charming eventually) Though there is something innately watchable about him.

Watching this film less for the romance and more for the comedy. As there is already little romance and more talk of it than anything. The comedy also never really comes other than some catty one-liners more from Jackman than Judd

At least Hugh Jackman seems to know he’s not in a necessarily good movie. He is just biding his time until each scene ends and is happy with the work. Not to mention a paycheck.

One can’t get mad at this film totally as it fits its conventions and lets you know what type of film it is. It doesn’t try to misdirect to make itself seem like it has more depth or one-of-a-kind filmmaking. Still even for its genre while competently filmed it is majorly disappointing in most aspects.

By the end, it also makes it obvious that the main character needed the break-up to happen for her to grow. As she would have been noted and settled into marriage with the wrong person in the first place and Even Though would have been happy. She also would have been bored and stuck 

The film is strictly painted by numbers and off the assembly line. I don’t even have that much more to say about it.

Grade: F

SWITCH (1991)

Written & Directed By: Blake Edwards 
Cinematography: Dick Bush 
Editor: Robert Pergament 

Cast: Ellen Barkin, Jimmy Smits, Perry King, JoBeth Williams, Lorraine Bracco, Tony Roberts, Bruce Payne, Lynette Anthony, Victoria Mahoney, Basil Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Kevin Kilner, David Wohl, Tea Leoni, Jim J. Bullock, Rick Aiello 

Steve Brooks is a sexist and the prototype macho. Unfortunately one day he is killed by one of his girlfriends. In heaven, though, there is no place for men like him and he is sent back to earth in the body of a woman so that he can see how women are treated by men like the one he once was.


Initially, it seemed this was a movie that was going to be a comedy of comeuppance and body-switching that had a kind of. Resurgence with moves like VICE VERSA, LIKE FATHER LIKE SON and 18 AGAIN or the teenage version SOMETHING SPECIAL 

This film is definitely outdated. The premise is Intriguing when it came out and caused some controversy when it did. It seems like a movie that is intentionally trying to be provocative and subtle In its own way. 

Watching it now it seems a bit tame but it does feel like a lothario male getting his come upance and Learning life lessons as having to go through life as an adult woman to try and get into heaven.

Learning through trials and tribulations. Though the film is trying to be pro-female and their rights. It still comes off as sexist. While allowing for plenty of sex scenes and nudity that it comes off as a sexual farce. 

The film does have Its fair share of funny scenes and Ellen Barkin is really Terrific in the lead role. Showing she has comedic timing and is thoroughly believable throughout. This is actually one of her better and more memorable roles. Where she isn’t necessarily the bad girl sexpot for a change. Normally this would have been more of a star-making role for her. As it is one of her unfortunately few leading roles in a film.  

Though the third act is rough. Having a child by means of drunken encounter pretty much seems at least as far as the character goes as date rape as she didn’t really give consent and finding a kind of happiness afterward with her best male friend who falls for him In Female form. 

Though ridiculous it doesn’t come off as physical or far-fetched as his previous movie SKIN DEEP. As here it seems that legendary writer/director Blake Edwards is trying and has invested interest in this film. Though he definitely seems to be trying to push some buttons when it comes to the subjects. While at times crasser than it needs to be. It definitely is more outdated than expected

There is still plenty of physical comedy throughout which is his specialty and some satire though towards the end it gets more serious and dramatic from its sillier early antics. 

Though this caused a bit of controversy at the time. This might have been a film that was made too early or too late for the times. As it is certainly a high concept and would have probably been more insulting than thought-provoking if made in the 1980s

The film also treats the killing of the main character so easily as flippant and more like a plot device rather than needed or really felt. As he never lied to these women so their murder seems madder at themselves for falling for him. Not only that but the film treats the fact that he was promiscuous as more his major sin and maybe his attitude towards women as we never Hear or even see him really treat any of the women. So the film generalized and tries to make a point figuring the audience will go with it 

Grade: C+

DROP DEAD GORGEOUS (1999)

Directed By: Michael Patrick Jann

Written By: Lona Williams 

Cinematography: Michael Spiller Editor: David Codrob & Janice Hampton 

Cast: Kirstie Alley, Kirsten Dunst, Denise Richards, Brittany Murphy, Amy Adams, Will Sasso, Mindy Sterling, Ellen Barkin, Allison Janney, Sam Mcmurray, Alexandra Holden, Matt Malloy, Mo Gaffney, Adam West, Nora Dunn, Jacy King, Amanda Detmer, Michael McShane, Jon T. Olson, Laurie Sinclair 

A small-town beauty pageant turns deadly as it becomes clear that someone will go to any lengths to win.


This should have been a bigger hit or at least better remembered. This movie had a cast of many before they were stars actresses. 

The film keeps it’s dark sense of humor throughout despite being more aimed at being a mainstream comedy. The film might think itself more of a satire but comes off more as straight comedy. It’s Inspired but the jokes don’t come off as sharp as they should. 

Watching this film originally in a theater was a memorable film experience if only because it is one of the few I watched with one of my best friends. It was a late summer movie and we were the only ones who seemed to laugh non-stop cementing our budding friendship. As we had the same kind of sense of humor.

Denise Richards looks the part, but also seems a little to long in the tooth for her role. As she looks noticeably older then the rest of the contestants. She also looks too polished. But does look like a beauty queen.

Kirsten Dunst is good as the lead. The beginning of her best roles playing more small town girls.

Though this is more of a teen movie. It spends just as much time on the adult characters. Who are more guilty in their influences and rivalries.

This is a kind of more studio oriented version of the 1970’s comedy SMILE. Which was also an ensemble comedy looking at a small town beauty pageant that was more risqué at the time and had a lot of material you couldn’t get away with now. This film is cleaner and snarkier then that one.

Amy Adams and Brittany Murphy are standouts amongst the cast. This is really Adams first big role and Brittany Murphy is hilarious in her supporting role. One wishes she had been given more to do and be in as she makes the material work and rise.

I remember this was one of the first roles I remember seeing Alison Janney in next to 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU. As she and Ellen Barkin steak their scenes together and even when apart they do.

This is one of the better film roles for Kirstie Alley has played. Here she is the villain and head of the pageant community and ceremony.

The movie is directed by Michael Patrick Jann who was a member of the sketch comedy group THE STATE as well as director of most of their specials. The performances end up better than the film overall.

The problem is at times the film comes off as too goofy and is mostly safe. Playing it’s

The Midwestern angle is strong. I guess they need representation in movies at the time. When it’s Strengths are more when it explores it’s dark side.

Though the humor never has quite the sting you expect and want 

GRADE: C+

TWELVE (2010)

 

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Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Written By: Jordan Melamed
Based on the Novel By: Nick McDonell
Cinematography By: Steven Fierberg
Editor: Paul Zucker & Gordon Grinberg

CAST: Chace Crawford, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Emma Roberts, Rory Culkin, Zoe Kravitz, Kiefer Sutherland, Ellen Barkin, Emily Meade, Isiah Whitlock, Erik Per Sullivan

A young drug dealer watches as his high-rolling life is dismantled in the wake of his cousin’s murder, which sees his best friend arrested for the crime.

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