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In Her Shoes (Widescreen Edition) (2005)

A movie directed by Curtis Hanson

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A Tale of Two Dissimilar Sisters

  • Aug 27, 2006
  • by
Pros: Acting, story-line.

Cons: Pacing in some spots.

The Bottom Line: While some portions of the movie were all too predictable, the human drama was enough to make In Her Shoes all worth while.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

Cameron Diaz is irrepressibly cute, inescapably adorable, and for now, undeniably sexy; there is no denying it. And that wide smile, dimples and all, can warm the coldest of hearts. And whatever movie she is in is hard to resist watching it just to see her in it. Many find her exasperating and lacking in theatrical range; perhaps, but I still enjoying watching her on the silver screen. She brings her blond bubbly exuberance to In Her Shoes a movie adapted from the enormously popular “Chick Lit” book by the same name by Jennifer Weiner.

Directed by Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential, Wonder Boys, 8 Mile) In Her Shoes begins as one of the two Feller sisters featured in the story; pretty, shapely, but habitually unemployed, and irresponsible Maggie, portrayed by Cameron Diaz (Charlie’s Angels, Vanilla Sky, Gangs of New York), get kicked out of her father’s house by her evil step-mother, after yet another drunken night on the town. This leaves her just one place to go: to her sister Rose’s apartment in Philadelphia. Frumpy Rose portrayed by Toni Collette (Muriel’s Wedding, Emma, The Sixth Sense) is an accomplished lawyer and the exact opposite of her sister in mannerisms.

But on this particular night, the usually lonely Rose has a male friend over, who happens to be a senior partner at her firm. Rose attempts to find Maggie a job, which she finally does at a local dog groomers, but while Rose was out of town one weekend Maggie goes too far, and Rose kicks her out of her apartment. But, as Maggie is packing to leave Jim, portrayed by Richard Burgi (The Sentinel, 24, Desperate Housewives), Rose’s lover, shows up at her apartment and his wandering eyes glide over Maggie’s shapely and half-clothed body; the rest is inevitable. The cavorting pair gets caught by Rose with predictable results.

With nowhere to go, having burned all of her bridges, and with little money, Maggie shows up at her fathers house searching for money and finds letters from a Grandmother she never knew who lives in a Florida retirement community. So that is where Maggie goes, showing up unannounced at the doorstep of Ella, her grandmother portrayed by Shirley MacLaine (Terms of Endearment, Steel Magnolias, Postcards From The Edge), who welcomes Maggie warm and wary, patiently waiting for the other shoe to drop, which it eventually does.

While Maggie adjusts to the languid pace of a Florida retirement community Rose’s life changes as well: she quits her job, becomes a dog walker, and starts dating a former collogue, Simon Stein, a lawyer portrayed by Mark Feuerstein (Caroline in The City, Once and Again, The West Wing). Meanwhile back in Florida Maggie grows up, finally, gets a job, and finally seems to be finding her niche in life…

My Thoughts

Despite myself I loved this film. I am not prone to watching “Chick Flicks,” but In Her Shoes does not feel like one—most of the time. Cameron Diaz is delightfully engaging, and unlike some reviewers, I do not find her character exasperating, just human and flawed like all of us. And Toni Collette with her unconventional somewhat homey looks, portrays the perfect opposite of Diaz, quiet, reticent; a woman whose looks do not open doors, and more often then not blends into the background of life.

And then there is Shirley MacLaine. She underplays her character with restraint and command and has such fluent chemistry with Diaz that one might believe they were actually related. While this part is like other maternal roles MacLaine has played, the personage is not as flamboyant, not as eccentric; I kept waiting for her to pounce on Maggie, but she never did.

Curtis Hanson does a good job of pacing the film, but all is not perfect on the set of In Her Shoes. The film slips into some of the hazards that plague all modern romantic comedies: The Feller stepmother is a serious b_tch and the father portrayed by Ken Howard (Melrose Place, Crossing Jordan) never reins her in. Maggie’s turn around is all too predicable, but a happy ending is a must.

Final Analysis: as I stated above, I am not given to watching this type of movie, but it was a Saturday night at the end of a long week and In Her Shoes was a movie my wife and I could watch together (she abhors violence and generally can’t watch it). I found the characters engaging and likeable—especially Cameron Diaz—and the premise plausible enough not to repel. While some portions of the movie were all too predictable, the human drama was enough to make In Her Shoes all worth while, though I’m not so sure about the title of the movie…

Principle Actors: Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, Anson Mount, Richard Burgi, Shirley MacLaine, Ken Howard
Director: Curtis Hanson
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only.
Number of Discs: (1)
Rating: Rated PG-13 for language and some sexual content.
Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD Release Date: January 31, 2006
Run Time: 130 Minutes
DVD Features:
o Available Subtitles: English, Spanish
o Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.1 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.1 Surround)
o Alternate Opening Title Sequence
o The Casting of Honey Bun
o Making of In Her Shoes Featurette
o "A Community For Acting Seniors" featurette
o Inside Look: John Tucker & Just My Luck


Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good Date Movie
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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More In Her Shoes (2005) reviews
review by . February 01, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
It must take courage to wade through an overstuffed yet flimsy novel such as Jennifer Weiner's IN HER SHOES and find that without all the paraphernalia bruising the essential message there is a fine story to be told. Such is the case of director Curtis Hanson (8 Mile, LA Confidential, The Wonder Boys) who consistently pares down stories and focuses on significant human issues. He is greatly aided by Susannah Grant's fine screenplay and by a cast of actors who are at their peak. For all the PR that …
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Vincent Martin ()
Ranked #187
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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In Her Shoesjust gets better and better as it goes along. As adapted byErin Brockovichscreenwriter Susannah Grant, this is one of those rare movies that actually improves on its source material (Jennifer Weiner's "chick lit"bestseller), with thoughtful direction by Curtis Hanson, theL.A. ConfidentialOscar®-winner who approaches any chosen genre with Hawksian versatility. At first it seems like Weiner's novel might yield a standard melodrama of sibling rivalry, but the polar opposition of smart, plain-looking Philadelphia lawyer Rose (the always-excellent Toni Collette) and her sexy, illiterate, irresponsible sister Maggie (Cameron Diaz) is just the starting point.In Her Shoesbecomes a moving, richly developed character study that deals with painful loss, long-term guilt, negative self-image, and the discovery of a heretofore unknown grandmother named Ella (played with delicate nuance by Shirley MacLaine), whose re-entry into the sisters' lives sets the stage for the well-earned emotions of a satisfying reconciliation. As Maggie takes stock of her dismal life while staying with Ella at a Florida "retirement home for active seniors," Hanson never condescends to these likable characters, and never goes for the easy laughs in a setting that could have devolved intoCocoon-like comedy. The movie's all the more endearing for treating its male characters (played by Mark Feuerstein, Ken Howard, and Richard Burgi) with equal depth and sympathy, ...
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Director: Curtis Hanson
DVD Release Date: January 31, 2006
Runtime: 130 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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