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Movie Review: Anand Tucker's Shopgirl (2005)

Just watched this movie last night. It stars Claire Danes as a Miss Lonely Hearts that works at the glove counter at Saks 5th Avenue. She is your typical single gal who lives alone with a cat. She doesn't seem to have much of a social life. One day she meets a real bonehead of a guy names Jeremy. He is employed but is barely making it in the world. Despite the fact that he is a deadbeat, Mirabelle (Claire's character) gives him a chance. He makes every mistake a guy should make. He doesn't open the door for her. His car is a mess. He has no money for the date. He demands a kiss.

Mirabelle is turned off, but she is lonely, so he gives him another shot. The second time doesn't get much better. Then she meets Ray (Steve Martin). Ray is the total opposite of Jeremy. He is middle-aged, well off, suave. He wants to wine and dine Mirabelle and get her into bed. He doesn't really want a relationship with her, just a companion.

While we watch the evolution and devolution of her relationship with Ray, we continue to see what happens to Jeremy. It makes it pretty obvious that he and Mirabelle will get back together since there would be no other reason to continue to show us what is happening with Jeremy.

The movie is pretty scattered. Many scenes don't seem to have a purpose. It holds together because Mirabelle is a likable girl, albeit a little naive. I think the only audience that would enjoy this movie is a girl who, like Mirabelle, is looking for that perfect relationship. It's a first date movie if I ever saw one. By the third or any post dates a couple might have, no self respecting man would choose to watch Steve Martin wine and dine anyone. He's just not handsome or charming enough to play this character. So, single gals, rent Shopgirl for an amusing trifle. All guys, whether single or otherwise, don't come within 3 feet of this movie.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Have you read it? I read the book (as well another of his novels, and I intend to read his plays too) and saw the film. I loved the cinematography of the film - all of the beautiful blues and greens - and, because Martin adapted his own work for the screen, I didn't abhor the changes as much as I would if it had been a secondary adaptation; I respected his choices instead, and I like the performances of the main three actors. However, I still can't relate to the relationships presented in either the text or on the screen. Not me, not for me, no.
Deb said…
The novella was a nicer read than the movie. I agree with your critique herein
Zee said…
I haven't read the book. I have to be pretty choosy about what I read, because there's so much great YA out there. Roger Ebert, by the way, gave it a thumbs up and presented an interesting perspective that I hadn't thought of.

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