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 (Charlies Angels, Vanilla Sky, Gangs of New York), get kicked out of her fathers 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 Roses apartment in Philadelphia. Frumpy Rose portrayed by Toni Collette (Muriels 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), Roses lover, shows up at her apartment and his wandering eyes glide over Maggies 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 Roses 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
Despite myself I loved this film. I am not prone to watching Chick Flicks, but In Her Shoes does not feel like onemost 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. Maggies 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 cant watch it). I found the characters engaging and likeableespecially Cameron Diazand 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 Im 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
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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