A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the movie features sexual references and situations and some very strong language for a PG-13. Characters drink and smoke, and there are scenes in a bar. Drinking is shown as a solace for pain. Boxes of condoms and a diaphragm that has not been used for a while are shown for comic effect.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Ashley Judd plays Jane Goodale, a booker for a television talk show hosted by Diane (Ellen Barkin). Ambitious Diane tells Jane that what she wants on her show is "the un-get-able get" -- the elusive guest that everyone wants but no one has. Meanwhile, Jane is looking for a "get" of her own, a man who will love her as much as she loves him. But that seems really un-get-able. If she isn't looking for love in all the wrong places, she is certainly looking in most of them. Through her experiences, Jane decides that men are genetically determined to act like bulls that refuse to service a cow a second time. Men are always looking for the "new cow." When Jane writes a magazine column about her theory, under a pseudonym, suddenly, everyone is talking about it and everyone, especially Diane, wants to interview the author.
Is it any good?
The big question here is how much fun the movie is on the way to its happy ending, and the answer is: mildly. Animal Husbandry, a wry and witty book about a single woman's efforts to understand men, has become SOMEONE LIKE YOU, a generic looking-for-love-in-all-the-wrong-places romance with plot twists that were tired back in the days of Sandra Dee and Bobby Darrin. If you have ever seen or even heard about any movie ever made, you know where the story leads.
Judd, who once adds more heart and star power to a movie than it deserves, delivers everything she can, and she makes Jane's yearning to love as well as to be loved very poignant. Hugh Jackman, out of his Wolverine X-Men outfit, turns out to clean up very nicely indeed, and makes a likable leading man. The dialogue is above average, and director Tony Goldwyn has some good ideas, but the plot twists are below average. This is especially clear in the last 15 minutes, which seem like a desperate attempt to think of any way to end it, and just don't work at all.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the foolish choices made by Jane, Ray, and Eddie. Jane is so in love with the idea of love that she does not expect Ray to say that he loves her before they become intimate. She does not really know him when they have sex, and yet she expects him not just to know her but to love her. Jane and Liz think they have a problem figuring out men, but the problem is in understanding themselves. Eddie uses indiscriminate sex as a way of warding off intimacy. Ray is not able to be honest with himself or with the women in his life. None of them seem to have any sense of how enduring love grows, though the conclusion does suggest that it is more likely to grow between people who begin with emotional intimacy and get that on firm ground before moving on to other kinds.
- In theaters: March 30, 2001
- On DVD or streaming: September 18, 2001
- Cast: Ashley Judd, Greg Kinnear, Hugh Jackman
- Director: Tony Goldwyn
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 97 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sexual content including dialogue, and for some language
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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