In Her Shoes
- Curtis Hanson
- Reviewed by
- José Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Monday, December 05, 2005
Rose Feller (Toni Collette) is an uptight lawyer who doesn’t feel so good about her looks and is not normally associated with attracting hot guys. Her younger sister Maggie (Cameron Diaz) is the exact opposite, a gorgeous blonde who doesn’t have a career and lives a superficial life. When their stepmother throws Maggie out of her house, she is forced to temporarily move to Rose’s place, something that proves disastrous, especially when she sleeps with a man her sister is dating. Desperate to land somewhere, Maggie goes in search of her estranged grandmother Ella (Shirley MacLaine), who lives in a Florida compound for elderly people.
In Her Shoes is based on a novel by Jennifer Weiner and was adapted to the big screen by Susannah Grant. I have to say that during the first few minutes of the movie I thought we were in for a clichéd, predictable movie. I was still having a lot of fun, but I set my mind as to not expect any more than simple plot developments and character interaction. But I was wrong. The movie may seem predictable in a large scope, meaning that if you look at the beginning and at the end you sure knew what would happen, but it’s the meat inside that takes uncharacteristic roads, leading to an emotional trip that is certainly worth taking.
In Her Shoes is not just a movie about two different sisters who can’t live with each other yet can’t live without each other. That would be a fairly close-minded way of seeing it. It is also a movie about family, discovery, acceptance and forgiveness. It is not only that these girls fight with each other, but more so about what happens to them when they do, and the way it affects their lives and those of the people that surround them. Not one main character is the same when the movie is over, and it is in that sense of growth that the movie reaches its importance.
Having said that, I’d like to mention that the movie is also highly entertaining. By the end I was totally immersed and didn’t want to leave these characters. I was having a great time with them. There’s a fair share of drama, but there’s also humor and the movie’s got a huge heart. It is hard to resist falling prey to its many charms.
Despite Cameron Diaz getting more prominence in the movie’s marketing efforts (for obvious reasons), it is fair to say that the movie is as much about her as it is about Toni Collette. And they’re both up to the task. Collette is especially impressive, displaying all sorts of range and grounding her character that may have become a caricature. This last thing can also be said about Diaz, whom I’ve always defended as being an accomplished and talented performer. MacLaine plays the usual wise-cracking woman she’s been playing for years, but I felt she didn’t go as over-the-top as she could have, which is a good thing and something that should be appreciated. Whatever the case, it’s always a pleasure watching her on-screen. I also liked Mark Feuerstein’s performance as a man smitten by Rose. He’s completely likable without going for the “saint” approach. Good work there. And veteran actor Norman Lloyd has a small appearance as a blind Professor who teaches Maggie a thing or two in what are some of the movie’s most emotional scenes.
More than meets the eye...
“Did you really just say ‘Fat Pig’? You are my sister and the best you can do is ‘Fat Pig’?”
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