October 14 - 20, 2005 • Vol. 26 - No. 41

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 In Her Shoes—Even Better if They’re Strappy,
High-Heeled Manolo Blahniks

by The Blonde and The Maven
Film Columnists

Curtis Hanson (8 Mile and Adaptation) brings yet another wonderful story to life with his direction of In Her Shoes. Staying true to the tone of the novel by Jennifer Weiner, Curtis manages to take us into the turbulent relationship of two sisters.
One sister is a responsible, stable and frumpy adult who does everything right. The other sister is an irresponsible, beautiful thief who can’t hold down a job for more than a month. Cameron Diaz (Charlie’s Angels and Gangs of New York) is the beautiful Maggie. Her greatest talent is her ability to get a guy to pay for her drinks (THIS COULD BE BIG IN MANY CULTURES)! Her day begins and ends with only thoughts of herself. Toni Collette (Connie and Carla and The Hours) is Rose, a hard-working attorney who, despite disapproving of younger sister Maggie’s immoral ways, still shows up each and every time to get her out of trouble. However, Maggie really tests Rose’s love when she betrays her! Rose kicks her out of her apartment, as well as her life, leaving Maggie with nowhere to go. Before Maggie was forced to leave dad Michael Feller’s home, by step-mom Sydelle, she found numerous letters from a here-to-fore unknown grandmother. Delighted to find someone new to manipulate, Maggie travels to Deerfield Beach, Florida to meet Ella, who is played by “THE” Shirley MacLaine (Guarding Tess and Steel Magnolias). Once there, a very shrewd Ella refuses to be manipulated and starts Maggie off on a journey of self-discovery, which includes a REAL job. Meanwhile, Rose, who is without a sister to take care of, also has her own journey to take. Along the way, she re-discovers HERSELF and gains a fiancé (NOW THAT’S A WIN-WIN)!
By the time the two sisters meet up again, you will have met some wonderful people on screen that you would like to have over for a knosh. Mrs. Lefkowitz, played by Francine Beers (Keeping the Faith and Sticky Fingers), is delightful as Ella’s good friend. Jerry Adler (Thirty Days and Six Ways to Sunday) plays Lewis Feldman, a suitor of Ella’s and a gentleman, to boot!
Although predictable, the emotional truth’s this film evokes makes the trek worthwhile. Go and enjoy this film!
The Blonde: What a simply delightful film! I was kvelling the whole time I was watching. In Her Shoes was like Must Love Dogs meets Hanging Up meets Hannah and Her Sisters meets The Golden Girls! This film once again shows us all that the whole meaning of life IS ABOUT SHOES! Yes, indeed the whole purpose in life is the shoes we choose. Even the Indians say you can’t judge a man until you spend a day in his (or her) shoes. Now, I have nothing against the Indians, in fact I like them a lot. However, I don’t want to spend a day in their shoes. I don’t particularly fancy moccasins! I wouldn’t enjoy sleeping in a tee-pee either! I find them too hot and cramped. ANWAY, this film was a joy to watch, not only for its very realistic and funny script, but for its magnificently stellar acting.
The Maven: I love moccasins! They are so soft and comfortable. However, I can’t walk a mile anymore, no matter what shoe I wear! I have to say, Cameron Diaz more than proved she could carry a movie. I didn’t like Maggie, but eventually seeing her through her sister’s eyes, I came to understand her. Cameron was able to portray beautiful on the outside and ugly on the inside with absolute expertise. I’ve always felt that, if I couldn’t picture anyone else in a role, then that role was played perfectly. Cameron achieved it in this film. Her character had to go through the most growth, and it was sometimes difficult to watch with any sympathy for her.
The Blonde: I love Toni the actress who played Rose. I fell in like with her in the film, Muriel’s Wedding. She was also perfect for this film. Her ‘under-the-top’ performance and her storyline made us all identify and fall in love with her. I feel, unlike the Mav, that her character had to go through just as much growth and transition as Maggie’s, just differently. But, SHE GOT MY GUY! She got Simon. I just loved the character Simon, played by Mark Feuerstein. I WANT SIMON, THE CHARACTER, IN MY LIFE! What a bubala! Maggie’s character, on the other hand, had MANY issues, and therefore was the unlikable character. Stay with her though, moviegoers, as she too will grow on you! At the end, you are almost rooting for her. Cameron was wonderful, but she always is. The professor was also a delicious character. He will remind you of people you have met in your own life!

Story continued on bottom

The Maven: I was a big fan of “St. Elsewhere” and was very happy to see Norman Lloyd as the professor. He probably did more for Maggie than anyone could have, because he helped her get past her biggest secret and shame. What are the chances of finding someone or something like that at just the right moment in life?
The Blonde: Hey, it happens, just like I found Manolo Blahnik shoes at the right time in my life (thanks to “Sex and the City”). I now, too, understand the meaning of life. Mav, you need to pick up a pair or two to give your world more meaning.
The Maven: Oh good, now I know what do look for at my next trip to Payless!
The Blonde: Oh my dear, sweet Maven, they don’t sell them there. Nothing against Payless, though!
The Maven: What, are they more than $10.95 and the second pair half off?
The Blonde: You get what you pay for in life! It’s your SOUL, Mav! It’s your quality of life. Didn’t this film teach you anything? Hello, in her SHOES!
The Maven: Yes, I learned that you should never wear Jimmy Choos’ heels in the snow! I also learned that you can repair a heel with gum!
The Blonde: Wait a minute, you found Jimmy Choo shoes at Payless?
The Maven: NO… I just said not to wear them in the snow!
The Blonde: IT DOESN’T SNOW IN BOCA! You are hopeless! Anyway, not only did Rose get Simon, she also had THE FINEST SHOE COLLECTION SINCE CARRIE IN “SEX AND THE CITY!” Maggie did, however, have excellent taste in STEALING shoes! Moving along, I HATED the step-mom more than the one in Cinderella, which teaches us all another lesson about life and shoes! YUK, WHAT A DISPICABLE FITCH! She is responsible for giving step-moms everywhere a bad name!
The Maven: I would like to know where wonderful dad is when step-mom was being so superior and insulting. I understand about keeping the peace, but someone (dad) should have muzzled Sydelle long ago. Maybe she was a size 8 wearing a size 6 shoe throughout the film. That would explain her pinched look all the time! That and all her hairspray!
The Blonde: Funny! I love Shirley MacLaine—her many talents AND her spiritually! She always finds a way to stay on top. Her acting is original and flawless. She makes her audience identify with every role she plays. Shirley is just SO FINE, not to mention her face lights up the big screen. I am NOT a big fan of her whole shoe collection, though. Too many practical shoes! Speaking of practical, Tom Cruise and Love Ka-Ka-Ka Katie Holmes are pregnant! They thought it more practical to skip the expense of marriage and a wedding and just have a child instead! To coin an old song, “Where Have All the Morals Gone”?
The Maven: UH, I think the song was, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”! Times have changed and PLEASE, like you are such a virgin?
The Blonde: Ya never let anything slide! Ya never let anything go, do ya Mav?

The Maven: Hey, I said nothing about your outfit and shoes this week at the movies! Not one word!
The Blonde: DON’T even think of going near my shoes!
The Maven: First of all, for me to walk in your size 6 shoes would be a miracle, not to mention your 5 inch heels! However, if you need to borrow my moccasins, feel free. I’m sure it would be a hoot to see you shuffling along in my size 9’s. Going back to your Shirley MacLaine comment, there IS NOTHING WRONG WITH PRACTICAL SHOES EITHER! About Tom and Katie, I think I am Katie and Tom-ed OUT! I can’t help but wonder why Tom feels such a need to display his relationship so openly. Perhaps he thinks he needs to diminish those old pesky rumors. Or, if he just wants to stick it to Nicole. Either way, I’VE HAD ENOUGH! What I didn’t get enough of was the friendships and goings on at the retirement center in this film. Those people, briefly met, were very interesting and very familiar.
The Blonde: They were precious and colorful characters! My mother would love them all in real life! In addition to the perfect casting and great performances, I thought this movie was terrific because of its complex and deep story that is filled with challenging, entangled, and rich relationships of love. IT WAS HONEST! Speaking of honest, I WANT SIMON! I LOVED THE CHARACTER, SIMON! If there are any Simons out there, call ENTNEWS and ask for the Blonde!

The Maven: WARNING to all of you SIMONS out there thinking of contacting our beloved BLONDE…she doesn’t shop at Payless, NEVER! EVER! NEVER WILL! Remember I warned you!
The Blonde: Don’t listen, SIMONS! CALL ME! I am so proud of Diane Keaton. She is hanging with Keanu Reeves. They met making the film Something’s Gotta Give. I guess dating the WAY YOUNGER GUY THING is in! Not a minute too soon, may I add! Mav, have you heard all the dish on Kate Moss and her drug charges. That girl should be arrested for KILLING her career alone!
The Maven: Okay, where did you get that info on Diane and Keanu?
The Blonde: I have my sources! It’s my gossip, I’m spreadin it, and I’m stickin to it!
The Maven: Leaving The Blonde with her secret sources, there are NO surprises in this movie. However, the acting is brilliant, as is the warmth and realism of each character. Bring some tissue for the endearing scenes and be prepared to hate Cameron for her most perfect behind. Although more women will enjoy this film, please guys, give it a chance. You may learn something. I rate this gem a B+ for its bona fide depiction of a true, positive and loving sisterly relationship. It’s also a good excuse to go get some new shoes since we are on the subject!
The Blonde: This film is a treat for all ages. But, if you are over 50, living in a Florida luxury retirement condo for active seniors and have grandchildren, you will ESPECIALLY glee for over 2 hours. This is one of those cases where you go out to the movies wanting to love a film and YOU DO! I rate In Her Shoes a B+! It is scaring me that the Maven and I are agreeing ON RATINGS so much lately! For your movie snacks, go ahead and have some Almond Joy candy to go with the joy you will have watching this film.
P.S. Wear your best shoes!

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