Any love for "In Her Shoes"?

Some mild spoilers follow.

In Her Shoes was an excellent movie.

This was directed by Curtis Hanson, the director of LA Confidential and Wonder Boys among other things.

The main characters, played by Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette and Shirley MacLaine, start as caricatures you’ve seen a million times, but by the time the movie gets going you realize they all have depth, history and multi-dimensions to them. They change, and learn slowly, and Hanson shows their growth mainly through interactions with other characters. . .a real practicioner of “show, don’t tell”.

Toni Collete gave what I consider the best female performance from all of 2005. She was nominated for an Oscar for Sixth Sense but was better in About a Boy. In this role, she blows both of them away. Amazing body language, and voice. The scene where she realizes she’s falling for Simon, she uses her mouth and her eyes so slightly to convey it. I had to watch it twice to confirm she actually moved at all, and yet the change FEELS so powerful. It’s unfortunate that performances in comedies and romances seem to get underrepresented compared to the big dramas (North Country, Constant Gardener, Walk the Line).

She goes through hurt and love and hate and compassion and has a relationship with her sister that goes back many years, and Collette brings the weight of that to the character. Really amazing.

I believe that Diaz gave as good a performance as she’s capable of. I dare you not to get choked up watching the scene where she meets the professor’s grandson. She realizes that maybe for the first time in her life what it’s like to. . .well, you’d have to see it.

Shirley MacLaine is back in the role of stoic mother (grandmother here). She’s excellent too. After mainly just staying in touch with her granddaughters (because the dad doesn’t want her to see them) by sending birthday cards, she tells her friend, “I should have been closer”.

Friend, “well, what could you have done. . .broke the door down?”

MacLaine tells her, “yes” while subtly conveying just how much she means it.

There are also some very funny scenes (e.g. The “Sex and the City” scene, where MacLaine does a perfect, understated “spit take” right back into her Cosmopolitan). Some perfect bittersweet scenes (like when Collette asks the waitress if they’re hiring).

As subtle as the actors are, Hanson really isn’t. The movie is chock full of short scenes that he never really lingers in. It takes on the feel of a Richard Curtis movie where each vignette seems designed just to push the story one notch further along.

If you don’t like ANY romantic comedies (Harry & Sally, Notting Hill, Love Actually, Sleepless in Seattle) you might not like this. You need to give yourself over to a little bit of schmaltz.

But, for a real heart-breaking story, with super performances, you gotta see “In Her Shoes”.

The movie was much better than the book. I hated most of the characters in the book and really wasn’t planning on seeing the movie, but a friend of mine called and invited me so I went. I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed the movie.

As a guy who generally hate romantic comedies, or movies billed as such, I really liked this movie. The OP is right: the characters actually had depth. I’d recommend it.

I quite liked it as well. The redoubtable Mrs. Cliffy is a big fan of the author, Jennifer Weiner, and so we went. A casualty of the box office slump, it deserved to do better business. I agree that the characters were much better thought-out than in similar fare.

OTOH, IIRC, they didn’t make Toni Colette look near crappy (read: chubby) enough in the beginning. She’s a beautiful woman who can play ugly surprisingly well, but this time didn’t pull it off as she has elsewhere. Whether she put her foot down or it was a directorial choice, I thought it a flaw.

–Cliffy

I was quite surprised by it. I thought it would have been one of those typical chick flicks. Instead I was quite drawn in. I especially loved the poem at the end, and even considered using at my wedding in January (but didn’t).

It was a long movie, longer than I expected it to go for.

I was pleased the stepmother kind of got her comeuppance in the end, too.

I didn’t know how the book made her out to be so that didn’t strike me.

However, I actually commented to my wife during the movie, “Toni Collette is like that ugly/pretty woman from that Seinfeld episode.” Because sometimes she looked downright horrible in the movie.

And, it’s not only hair and makeup and wardrobe. . .she just seems to carry herself completely differently. Twice she went up the “Rocky Steps” with the dogs and the contrast between how she did was was marked. One of those nice details in a movie filled with them.