Animal Attraction (PG)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner13/08/2001

Three stars out of five
Running Time: 97 mins

Average, forgettable rom-com that just about succeeds thanks to a decent cast and a number of snappy one-liners.

Ashley Judd stars as Jane Goodale, a talent-booker for an Oprah-like talk show. When the man of her dreams (Greg Kinnear) suddenly dumps her after they plan to move in together, she’s understandably devastated.

Frustrated at what makes men ‘tick’, she develops the ‘New Cow Theory’ (taking inspiration from the animal kingdom) and is persuaded by her best friend (Marisa Tomei) to write a pseudonymous sex column, whereupon she reluctantly finds herself in hot demand for chat show appearances.

Meanwhile, having lost her apartment, she is forced to accept the offer of her womanising co-worker Eddie Alden (Hugh Jackman, looking more than ever like a young Clint Eastwood) and moves into his spare room…

Animal Attraction has already been both retitled (from Animal Husbandry – the title of the source novel- and from the generic rom-com title Someone Like You) and had its release date brought forward by two months.

The latter presumably to cash in on the Imminent Stardom Of Hugh Jackman (already well-known after playing Wolverine in X-Men), whose new film Swordfish opens early next month.

It will doubtless prove a shrewd move, as there is very little competition in the rom-com stakes this summer, especially now that everyone has seen Bridget Jones’s Diary.

Plot-wise, the film is very predictable indeed, but it benefits considerably from an attractive and likeable cast that also includes Ellen Barkin in an amusing turn as Diane Roberts, the star of the talk-show.

Similarly, Kinnear once again provides his unique blend of smarm and charm and Marisa Tomei turns in another generous supporting performance (after her similar turn in What Women Want), which is almost sad when you consider she would once have been cast in the lead role.

Importantly, the film is smart enough to play to its strengths, so the ladies get lots of scenes with Jackman with his shirt off and Judd spends an inordinate amount of time in her underwear.

That should be enough to please any reluctantly-dragged-along dates – in fact, the scene where she shows him her cheer-leading moves while they’re both half-dressed is the highlight of the film.

In general then, this is a standard rom-com with a decent helping of funny lines, some great supporting performances and two attractive leading characters that you genuinely care about. Forgettable, but a decent enough Friday-night movie.

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Content updated: 19/11/2017 01:29

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