While squirming in my seat, I tried to take some notes on this one which I'd hoped would be helpful for fellow readers.
Shopgirl desperately wants to be something more than the best-selling Steve Martin novel from which it's based. Sadly, it fails on so many different levels.
Claire Danes is a very good actress & tends to pick interesting roles as a general rule. I'm actually shocked she would've wasted her time on the Mirabelle character & would've hoped for something greater here but no such luck. Steve Martin plays much less likeable character & fails miserably because you never quite believe his performance. Perhaps an edgier actor could've pulled off the seasoned bachelor who refuses to allow himself the trappings of falling in love. Schwartman, by far, really does the best job as Jeremy but even his character is fairly clueless & unworthy of our attention.
Shopgirl aims to be heartfelt, quirky, & witty all at once but seems scattered or unfocused more than anything. It would seem Martin's tale is unsure as to whether it wants to be a modern fable of our time or a pretentious romantic comedy with all the dreaded pitfalls.
While the film works hard to gain our attention, we are further subjected to the annoying performance of Bridgette Wilson-Sampras as the gold digger who also works in the same shop as our protagonist. this could've been left on the cutting boards & the film would've been worthy of atleast another gold star.
Sadly, we never get a real feel for any of the lead characters in this film & resolutions to their problems are far from credible. We are, however, subjected to a lot of staring off into space or dizzy smiles from the lead Mirabelle in between the pretty camera shots. When the characters do manage to somehow interact, it's like watching a nervous person give a speech--it makes you feel awkward and nervous for them. Shopgirl could've been a fairly decent film but it lacks a great deal of heart & substance.