US Release Date: 10-07-2005
Directed by: Curtis Hanson
- Cameron Diaz, as
- Maggie Feller
- Toni Collette, as
- Rose Feller
- Shirley MacLaine, as
- Mark Feuerstein, as
- Simon Stein
- Brooke Smith, as
- Francine Beers, as
- Mrs. Lefkowitz
- Richard Burgi, as
- Jim Danvers
- Ken Howard, as
- Michael Feller
- Candice Azzara as
- Sydelle Feller
Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette in In Her Shoes.
In Her Shoes is as entertaining a chick flick to come along in some time. Its smooth mixture of laughs and touching moments makes for a good time at the movies. An impressive trick for a director known for testosterone driven movies like L.A. Confidential and 8 Mile.
Diaz and Collette play Maggie and Rose, two sisters. Maggie is the younger, prettier, wilder one and Rose the responsible, plainer, older sister. These aren't the clichéd characters they sound like however. The script, and performances by both actresses, makes these sisters totally believable, both have faults and good qualities. One could argue that perhaps Diaz's character changes a bit too much over the course of the movie, but it's true that people do have intense periods of their lives that change them dramatically.
The legendary Shirley Maclaine doesn't appear until probably 45 minutes into the film. She plays Ella, the sisters' maternal grandmother, whom neither of them knew was still living. Maggie is the first to discover the secret that Ella is still alive. After a huge fight with Rose she heads to Florida planning to mooch off her grandmother. Through her relationship with Ella Maggie begins finally, to grow up.
Toni Collette proves once again what a great actress she is and Cameron Diaz, whom I've never thought much about talentwise before, does a remarkable job here. For her part, the venerable Shirley Maclaine makes the most of what is definitely a supporting role.
Mixed in with all this drama are many funny moments, especially once Maggie gets to the retirement community in Florida. The laughs don't stem from obvious jokes, they come from the characters and the situations they find themselves in. They inspire chuckles more than raucous laughter.
In Her Shoes is about sisters and forgiveness. It's about how you can love someone even though you feel intense anger and hurt at them for things they have done to you. After all it has always been a razor thin line and In Her Shoes walks smack down the middle.
Toni Collette and Cameron Diaz in In Her Shoes.
Despite Patrick's warm praise, I watched In Her Shoes with very low expectations. I'd avoided it when it was in theaters for the simple reason that it looked like not only a chick flick, but a not very good chick flick. Turns out I was only half-right. It is a chick flick, but as Patrick said, it's an entertaining one with good performances by its leads.
Collette does a great job as Rose, but one amusing thing in the movie is her constant complaint that she's not only fat, but vastly overweight. Only in a movie would she be considered fat. In other words, she's not completely anorexic, which in Hollywood terms equals fat.
While Maggie's character does do the most changing over the course of the movie, to be fair, it never really says how much time has passed while she's down in Florida, so her transformation isn't completely unbelievable.
While In Her Shoes is entertaining, the ending is completely estrogen driven to the point of excluding men all together. At Rose's wedding all of the emotion is between Rose and Maggie. It is Maggie who reads a love poem to Rose during the ceremony and when Rose drives away after the wedding, it is Maggie whom she can't let go of and whom she can't take her eyes off of as she drives away. All very sisterly and touching, but isn't there somebody else involved in the wedding? Oh yeah, the groom.
Cameron Diaz and Shirley MacLaine in In Her Shoes.
The poem Rose reads to Maggie during the wedding ceremony was completely out of place. That should have been done before the actual standing on the alter part of the nuptials. If I was the groom I would have taken that poem as a very bad foreshadowing of how intrusive my future sister in-law is going to be in my life.
Patrick makes a good point that this movie is about how you can still love someone even though you're angry with them. As brothers, Patrick, Scott and I have argued countless times. We are different yet share the commonality of family, and of course a love for movies. Even when I have been completely frustrated with Patrick or Scott I still loved them. That is the greatness of family.
Other than vaguely seeing my relationship with my brothers in this movie, I took very little else away from it. It takes far too long to make the point that family is family no matter how mad you are at them or how long it has been since you have seen them.
Photos © Copyright 20th Century Fox (2005)