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Shopgirl (2005)

1 rating: 3.0
Comedy movie directed by Anand Tucker

Any fan of Steve Martin's2000 novellawill enjoy this pitch-perfect adaptation, which glowingly captures the bittersweet tones of a May-December romance. Martin wrote the screenplay and stars as Ray Porter, a button-down 50-something executive who … see full wiki

Director: Anand Tucker
1 review about Shopgirl (2005)

The Loneliness of Unpartnered Dreamers

  • Apr 28, 2006
Rating:
+3
SHOPGIRL works on a number of levels. While its focus is an examination between types of romance, it also manages to address many issues of the isolation of living alone in Los Angeles - or any big city for that matter. But Los Angeles, with its sprawl of ill-defined suburbs and neighborhoods searching for a city's identity, a city where a lot of lonely people mount the freeways daily to drive to unfulfilling jobs that merely keep their lives together, snuffing out many possibilities of life enhancing experiences, is the perfect fit for Steve Martin's screenplay adaptation of his very Los Angeles novella by the same name.

Mirabelle Buttersfield (Claire Danes), an immigrant wannabe artist from Vermont lives alone with her distant cat Sylvia in Silver Lake, one of the borderlands of LA, and drives her pickup to Saks Fifth Avenue daily to work the glove counter. Most of her day is spent daydreaming while watching fellow sexy worker Lisa (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras) charm the customers with fragrances. She meets another loner Jeremy (Jason Schwartzman), an unkempt, broke, but good-spirited youth her age in a Laundromat and the mutual needs of both characters opens a strange but sweet romance overture. But simultaneously Mirabelle meets the wealthy 50-something divorced Ray Porter (Steve Martin in a subdued, no pratfalls role) and Ray immediately but subtlely begins sending gifts and dates and surprises Mirabelle's way, resulting in a 'perfect courtship' in her eyes but intended as a no strings sexual outlet in Ray's view. The story is one that compares the May/December high-class romance with the more sensitive and realistic wobbly romance between two young needy people and the manner in which it resolves feels right.

Danes is superb in this delicate role as are Schwartzman, Martin, and Wilson-Sampras. Director Anand Tucker keeps the story flowing naturally, as 'natural' as he can with the writer and actor being the one with the clout. Each of the sections of this monopoly game of courtship is well played until the lugubrious musical score by Barrington Pheloung pushes toward the maudlin. But in all, this is a fine little film, beautifully acted, with a lot of important information about life and love in the loneliness of a big city. Grady Harp, April 06

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