14 January 2004 | Jill-68
Much Better Than I Expected
I rented this film only because Hugh Jackman is in it. Since I don't even remember it being in the theaters (though my daughter does), I assumed it was going to be a bit lame. And if I had read the reviews I've found posted here first, I would have been even MORE hesitant about watching it. Instead, I quickly found myself being led into a satirical funny movie, that had me laughing aloud (I'm the type of person that DOES think it's funny to hear chirping birds when Ashley Judd first stares into the smarmy but cute eyes of Greg Kinnear, while the word 'Attraction' is flashed across the screen like a card from a Silent Movie). I thought Ashley Judd was a great comedienne in this film, especially the scene where she was drunk at the bar. She plays angry loud drunk female very well. There were also plenty of sight gags. Am I the only one who laughed at the sight of Hugh Jackman nailing up a blanket over the horrendous hole in the wall in his apartment? Ashley having to schlep her luggage down the street to her new apartment? The seating arrangements in the conference room at the workplace, showing the changes in each couple's relationships? Honest, I laughed at almost every scene in this film. It turns out this movie is based on the book "Animal Husbandry," a witty little novella that can be read in a day, which is written like a journal in the life of Jane. In the book, the character of "Eddie" remains always intriguing, always fascinating, and always a bit out of reach. Hugh Jackman attempts to put some of that swagger and inscrutable mystery into his characterization. It's an intriguing role, and not really an easy one to play, but Hugh as usual does a great job. His character is emphasized much more in the film than in the book. Greg Kinnear, as "Ray" plays it a little too tongue-in-cheek, but the scenes where he's talking to the camera are priceless. And Ashley Judd plays 'Jane' in a more sympathetic and believable light than the heroine of the novel was portrayed. To me, the movie flowed well, and the ending was just fine. It's fun to watch the 'Alternate Ending' on the DVD, though, with Director's Commentary. Once you've heard the director explain that wet cotton-snow, green trees in January, and bad rain special-effects mean an ending has to be trashed, you can't help but laugh. Not only that, but Hugh Jackman looks good wet, too.