Someone Like You

Have you ever had the experience of watching a movie, noticing its flaws, and surprisingly not caring about them? That was my experience with Someone Like You, based on Karen Kingsbury’s best-selling novel. The story is predictable and manipulative, yet it’s also filled with optimism and hope. Those latter two qualities are in short supply these days, so watching the film is like having somebody wrap you up in a great big bear hug.

In voiceover, Dawson Gage (Jake Allyn) informs us that he’s been in love with London Quinn (Sarah Fisher) since high school. She’s kept him in the friend zone, though, despite being close as close can be. When London dies unexpectedly, Dawson learns a shocking secret from her parents, Louise (Lynn Collins) and Larry (Scott Reeves): Their daughter was conceived in vitro and there was a second embryo, which they transferred to another couple. In other words, London has an identical twin sister out there. Dawson tracks down Andi Allen (also played by Fisher) in Nashville, where she works at the city zoo.

Can you guess what happens from there? Of course you can! You know where the story is going right from the very start, including the subplot about Louise needing to find a kidney donor. Andi learns the previously unknown details of her birth, Dawson struggles with the idea that he’s simply trying to replace London, the hint of a romance develops despite her having a boyfriend, and so on. There isn’t a familiar plot beat that Someone Like You doesn’t hit right on cue.

Universal

And yet, I honestly didn’t mind the obvious machinations. Part of that is because of the performances. Allyn and Fisher are immensely likeable onscreen. They create a believable bond between their characters that gets you hooked. Just as important, although it may not seem this way on the surface, are the turns from Lynn Collins and Robyn Lively, who plays Andi’s mom. Both mothers add emotional heft to the movie. It’s not about how this unlikely situation impacts Dawson and Andi, it’s about how it affects both families. The supporting actresses help to emphasize the repercussions of everything that takes place.

An uplifting quality also makes Someone Like You enjoyable. Kingsbury, who wrote the script with director Tyler Russell, deals with themes of love, family, faith, forgiveness, the power of the human spirit to overcome grief, and the endless possibility that life might have something wonderful in store for you, even when it doesn’t necessarily feel that way. The section dealing with Andi’s conflicted feelings upon learning the circumstances of her birth allows for a wonderful message about how family is more than biological. As an adoptive parent, that kind of sentiment always hits home with me.

As expected from a Karen Kingsbury adaptation, Someone Like You contains faith elements. They aren’t laid on too thick, but they’re present enough to satisfy viewers looking for Christian content. And if that’s not your bag, you still might enjoy the film’s tender love story and upbeat spirit. I sure did.


out of four

Someone Like You is rated PG for thematic material. The running time is 2 hours and 6 minutes.


© 2024 Mike McGranaghan