In Her Shoes Reviews
[font=Century Gothic]"In Her Shoes" is a pleasant and harmless comedy about how our lives are what we make of them. The movie is short on plot, but strong on characterization. But it does skirt a couple of stereotypes, such as the unhappy working woman without a life, for example.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Toni Collette is excellent. And Cameron Diaz does manage to keep up with her. Shirley MacLaine gives an admirably restrained performance. But Brooke Smith and Norman Lloyd almost steal the movie out from under them.[/font]
Maggie (Cameron Diaz) and Rose Feller (Toni Collette) are sisters with nothing in common but their shoe size. They were raised by their father Michael (Ken Howard) and always nagging stepmother (Candice Azzara) after their mother died in a car accident. Rose is the eldest and she is a lawyer while Maggie is a free spirit who is unable to hold a steady job (due to her virtual inability to read) and turns to alcohol and men for emotional and financial support. Rose grudgingly allows Maggie to move in with her when their stepmother throws her out of the house. Their already difficult relationship ends, however when Rose catches Maggie in bed with Jim (Richard Burgi), her boyfriend, Maggie subsequently disappears from Rose's life... but: there is more and I'll keep it a secret! Watch it for yourself :-)!
Carino Chocano of the Los Angeles Times described this film as "a curious movie, hovering for upward of two hours between light and dark, truth and fake uplift, menace and mollycoddling." What a nice way to describe it!
It has smart dialogue, and will bring to mind family situations in your own experience, and that's a tribute to the writing. While the film goes a little off-track at times, it regains its feet. The smaller, intimate scenes are well rendered, and Cameron Diaz does a creditable job of playing the troubled sister. She's a little over-dramatized, perhaps, and the ending seems a little bit pat, but Diaz and Toni Collette do a good job at their scenes and their complicated lives.
As a guy watching this, I was interested to see how they were going to resolve all the drama that the movie creates. The healing process that is begun is hinted at with the movie, although its far from a completely happy ending. Life is like that, and there are new challenges presented in the film that carry it beyond the usual A+B+C=happy ending. I also liked it because it didn't go overboard with the women's portrayals: None of them are perfect, and none of them are completely right or sympathetic. The women portrayed here are not objects or cardboard cutouts, they live and breathe.
Younger men will not give a whit for this film, unless they have sisters and siblings. It's talky, and some of it is contrived, but in order to bring the film in under 3 hours, you have to make choices as a director and editor. There are scenes that ought to have been given more time, but overall it rings true enough to be worth it.