Saturday, November 05, 2005

film - Shopgirl

3.5 /5

There are moments in this film that seem really far fetched, but there's enough genuine heart and good acting, to more than make up for these flaws.

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Doe-eyed Mirabelle (Claire Danes, 26) is an artist who moves from Vermont to LA, and ends up working at Saks Fifth Avenue, behind the gloves counter.

While at the local laundry, scruffy, spacey, Jeremy (Jason Schwartzmann,25) strikes up a conversation that would not likely end up with him getting her phone number is real life, but the two of them end up going out. She doesn't seem smitten with him and they seem like a unlikely couple.

At work, Ray Porter (Steve Martin, 60) ends up buying a pair of long black gloves from her. In a move that would signal a potential stalker, she finds a neatly wrapped package at her apartment with her name and address. It ends up being from the gentleman who bought the gloves.

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Jeremy ends up going on the road with a rock band for a couple of months, while Ray and Mirabelle pursue a relationship. At the outset, he mentioned that he wasn't looking for anything long term and thought she understood that he just wanted someone to be with and sleep with when he wasn't out of town. She didn't quite take away the same message...

Steve Martin doesn't goof it up and his character, the wealthy software magnate, is charming and generous with his money. His understated performance recalls Bill Murray in Lost In Translation. Schwartzmann plays his character as being loopy and awkward. You've got to wonder how many elegant women like Mirabelle would be interested in someone like him, even if they are both artists. There's really no chemistry between them. Claire Danes is very good as the small town girl in the big city. She's not the most attractive woman in the film, with some of the lesser-actresses being truly stunning, like Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, Pete Sampras' wife, who portarys the perfume-selling, scheming Lisa. But Danes is very watchable with her big brown eyes, quiet demure, solemn vulnerability and classic beauty.

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There's some narration in the film by Martin and some good words of redemption that philosophies Ray's mistakes with Mirabelle. Overall, an enjoyable film.

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