In Her Shoes

Though I do hate the label 'chick flick' (an incredibly dismissive label) I guess this film would fall into that so-called category. Though thinking it is just something that would appeal only to women, is a tear-jerker and very talky (as opposed to having 'action' in it) is wrong; the film definitely has more to it. It is a film which examines the ups and downs of sisterhood, the multitude of types of relationships within a family, human mortality, and all the things we are afraid to face in life. The film is an adaptation from the very successful book by author Jennifer Weiner (whose grandmother and sister have cameos in the film) and it is a book that contained many characters and was quite 'full'. Director Curtis Hanson (8 Mile and L.A. Confidential) and screenwriter Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovitch and Ever After) have done a good job focusing the film on the three main characters of Maggie, Rose and Ella. Hanson does an especially good job piecing all the various parts of the story together and making it comprehensible. He does give this film enough depth to rescue it from sinking into the abyss of melodrama. One problem that Hanson does have with the film is pacing; it is a little slow in parts. The three actresses all give good performances. Cameron Diaz makes a character that could have been one dimensional (selfish party girl) more sympathetic and the always great Toni Collette makes her unsure character interesting and believable. Now I have to admit I am a big Shirley MacLaine fan and no one does the piss and vinegar character better than this actress, but this role is interesting because she also gets to portray a vulnerable side. There is a big slice of realism in this film that most everyone can relate to. We have all been there done that like these characters. I just hope that some men go see this film of family, learning and love.

Maggie (Cameron Diaz – The Mask and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle) and Rose (Toni Collette – Muriel's Wedding and About A Boy) are two sisters from Philadelphia and they could not be more unalike. The only thing they have in common is that they wear the same size shoes. Maggie is outgoing, popular with men, and messy. Rose, who is an organized, withdrawn lawyer, is always giving Maggie suggestions on how to improve her life which Maggie rarely ever pays attention to. Rose is definitely the caretaker in this relationship; she picks up after and cleans up all of her sisters messes. After one betrayal too many Rose kicks Maggie out. The sisters' relationship is severely compromised when Maggie runs off to Florida to find their long-lost grandmother Ella (Shirley MacLaine). Because she has nowhere else to live, Maggie takes up residence in Ella's community residence for active seniors. Maggie wants to know her grandmother and come to terms with how she sees her relationship, or lack thereof, with her own parents. As they are finally independent of each other, Maggie and Rose begin to live very different lives. Each sister, left to her own devices, becomes more like the other. They start to see the possibilities of independent living, personal growth and the different types of roles within families.

Special DVD Features:

-Alternate Opening Title Sequence

-The Casting of Honey Bun

-Making of In Her Shoes Featurette

-"A Community For Acting Seniors" featurette

-Inside Look: John Tucker & Just My Luck

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