In Her Shoes –
The film is off to a good start with Garbage’s song ‘Stupid Girl’
played against a titles sequence which is an efficient exposition and
set-up. There’s a reasonable choice of pop songs thereafter, but the
original music, by Mark Isham, is generally made up of dreadful piano
This is a great role for Cameron Diaz. She’s a good actor, and
getting better on the evidence of this film. The scene where she
does an audition for MTV is amazing. Her face tells what’s going
on in her head, and it is a wonderful piece of work – up to Toni
Collette’s standard, and that is saying something.
Toni is also wonderful, though at times just a little too
strained. She has to laugh and cry a lot in this role, and Toni
is the master of both. But it can move into schtick if she’s not
careful. She nearly always avoids that here (nearly). And
she gets to say the classic line: ‘I like to treat myself. Clothes
never look any good. Food just makes me fatter. Shoes always fit.’
As if these two performances weren’t enough, this film also gives us
Shirley MacLaine, who is marvellous. Her tight mouth speaks volumes
about a woman who has had to keep her personal life on ice for years.
On top of that, we get a cameo by Norman Lloyd (once a member of Orson
Welles’ Mercury theatre, and himself a bit of a legend). And speaking
of cameos, Mrs Lefkowicz is a hoot. Frances Beer(?) almost steals
the show. And I notice she likes to watch the World Poker Tour
(my favourite TV show) and she has a WPT Cap (where can I get one?).
The clever script and crisp direction by Curtis Hanson make this film a
small gem, clever and moving as well. With a lot to say about the
complexity of being a family member. The two sisters are terribly
cruel to each other. Toni (as Rose) calls her sister Maggie
‘Pretty but dumb’. Maggie responds with ‘Fat pig’. Rose asks her
if that’s the best she can do. Brrr!
A couple of other lines I loved were:
I’m a bit suspicious of the Florida location shots. Why would a
sign say ‘Deerfield Beach, Florida’ (why say Florida?). I thought
it looked like the main train station in LA. Minor quibble that amused
me. I could be wrong.
- 'Wasabi makes everything better'- Simon to Toni (Rose).
- ‘I’m kind of a slow reader.’ ‘That's all right I’m a slow
- 'Hands down, best shower I've ever been to'.
Other than the music, the only other weakness I found in the film was
that, in my opinion, there is no logic to Rose’s character thinking
that the only thing holding her together is having people to please
& tasks to finish. There are much better reasons for hating
being a lawyer. I should know.