Friday, March 28, 2008
In Her Shoes, good girly movie
I caught a movie on TV the other day that I sneaked into when it was first in theaters and thus have still never paid to see. In Her Shoes (2005) is worth paying for though. It's not a typical movie, given that the love story is barely secondary to the relationships within a family, particularly two sisters. Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette are sisters raised by a father they adore and a step-mother they hate. The mystery behind their mother's death is kept hidden for a long time. We see Diaz's character falling apart, unable to hold a job because she never really learned the things in school you need to actually hold a job (like reading and math). Thus, she's always ending up at her parent's or sister's house drunk and stealing from their dressers. They finally kick her out and she finds a long-lost grandmother (Shirley MacLaine) living in a retirement home in Florida. However, MacLaine won't take her crap (she obviously recognizes the personality from her deceased daughter) and helps her get a job and actually supports her. MacLaine is perfect as the grandmother who has resigned herself to accept what life has given her and taken away - she's not bitter, but calm and accepting, very unlikely role for MacLaine. Meanwhile, back in Philly, Collette has quit her high-powered lawyer job to walk dogs (her sister sleeping with her lawyer boyfriend soured her on the law?), but a lawyer at her firm (a nerdy, self-assured guy) keeps pursuing her and finally wins her over. However, she keeps the secret of her sister's insanity a secret. Her little speech about why she can't tell him about her sister is terrific and explains family devotion pretty well, that no matter how awful Diaz is, she'll always help her and take her back, and she can't bear it if her boyfriend hates her sister, so she's kept Diaz a secret. Collette finds out Diaz has gone to Florida and they reunite at MacLaine's house and learn the secrets about their mother and how she died and why MacLaine was kept from her grandchildren. It's a touching movie that never goes too far with its family love, and makes real relationships appear normal and yet the movie is fun, interesting, well crafted, and worth watching repeatedly.
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