There are good movies that, for whatever reason, don’t make much of an impression on the public when they were released. They either bombed in the theater, or just went straight-to-dvd. Unlike Double Jeopardy, this Ashley Judd-starring film fits the category, since it barely made back it’s budget. I have it on tape, but it just came on cable again this weekend, and I re-watched it for the first time in years, and remembered how much I liked it.
Ashley plays Jane, production assistant of a daytime talk show hosted by Diane Roberts (Ellen Barkin). One of Jane’s coworkers is producer Eddie (Hugh Jackman), who is a stereotypical womanizer. The talk show has just been nationally syndicated, so pressure is on to make it a big hit, and a new producer is brought in, named Ray (Greg Kinnear).
Jane and Ray start dating, fall in love, and he asks her to move in with him. She gives up her apartment, but then Ray dumps her over dinner, telling her that he’s gotten back together with his ex-girlfriend. Now heartbroken and homeless, Jane takes up Eddie on his offer to move in with him, because his roommate just moved out of his apartment.
While trying to put up with Eddie’s promiscuous lifestyle, Jane starts developing some theories on male behavior, and her best friend Liz (Marisa Tomei) convinces her to start writing an advice column under a pen name for the magazine that Liz works at. The column ends up becoming a huge hit with readers, to the point where Diane orders Jane to invite this fictional author to be a guest on the talk show, which puts Jane in a weird position, because she doesn’t want anyone to know whom she is.
Meanwhile, Jane and Eddie begin to become closer, after she sees him display real emotion for a woman that once dumped him, and she realizes he’s not quite the heartless male chauvinist pig that he seems to be. Then Ray suddenly announces that he wants her back, and Jane has to decide whether to give him another chance.
I don’t want to spoil the rest but, let’s face it, this is a romantic comedy. I like romantic comedies (& yes, I am a heterosexual male, thank you very much), but if you also like them then you realize that there is a definite formula that 99.9% of rom-coms follow. Meaning, you know that, in the end, the two characters who seem all wrong for each other (in this case, Jane and Eddie) are going to end up together. But good romantic comedies nevertheless maintain your interest by making the journey worthwhile. And this is definitely one of the good romantic comedies. Most of the credit must be given to Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman, who give great performances, and appear to have excellent chemistry with each other.
They really make this film work.