Directed by: Curtis Hanson
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette,
Anson Mount, Shirley MacLaine,
Mark Feuerstein, Ken Howard
Released by: Twentieth Century
Short: A perfect cast and well-written script
make this story of two warring sisters hit just
the right notes of comedy and drama, elevating
it way beyond a typical chick flick.
Shoes Were Made for Watching
this serio-comic study of a family fractured by mental
illness, director Curtis Hanson proves beyond a doubt
that he is one of the finest filmmakers in Hollywood today.
With the same deft touch he's shown in movies like "L.
A. Confidential," "Wonder Boys" and "8
Mile," Hanson first assembles an all-star cast and
then gives them the kind of script they can fully bring
to life. "In Her Shoes" follows the volatile
relationship of two sisters, Maggie (Cameron Diaz), a
messed-up beauty whose life is a string of crummy jobs
and one-night stands, and Ruth (Toni Collette), a plain-Jane
lawyer whose only solace in an otherwise empty life comes
from her closet full of expensive footwear.
the movie might look like a typical chick flick at first
glance, it is anything but that. Sure, the film happens
to center around women. But it is also a multi-layered
exploration of the human condition, examining the fundamental
issue of how one's family affects everything in a person's
life even long after becoming an adult, as well as how
the choices we make in career, lovers, friends and even
pets affect the innate quality of our lives.
movie begins at a low point in both women's lives. We
watch their relationship deteriorate until the two break
away from each other. This is when a whole new cast of
characters enters the story, and when the movie really
takes off. Shirley MacLaine, the sisters' long-lost grandmother,
comes with a slew of family secrets and unresolved issues
that begin to unravel as the three women look to the past
to rebuild their presently broken lives.
is sublime as always, and her fellow "Florida active
retirement community" cronies remind us that getting
old doesn't necessarily mean that life (or love) has passed
us by. Collette's performance is noteworthy as well, but
it is Cameron Diaz who really surprises, going from am
aimless self-involved liar and thief to a woman that deserves
respect and admiration by the story's end.
is one element to this excellent picture that does
make it something of a chick flick, however. Bring
tissues and be ready to share them, because by the
last frame of "In Her Shoes" there won’t
be a dry eye in the house.