2005
Rated: PG-13 for brief nudity, sexual themes, adult language, and violence.
Genre: Romance Drama
Directed By: Curtis Hanson
Running Time: 2:09
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
Review Date: 9/17/06
DVD Features:
Additional Footage - "Inside Look: JOHN TUCKER MUST DIE; JUST MY LUCK"
Alternate Scenes - Opening Title Sequence
Behind the Scenes - 1. "The Casting of Honey Bun"
2. Making of IN HER SHOES
Documentary - "A Community For Acting Seniors"
IN HER SHOES

 

You know, Toni Collette could be in “Benchwarmers 2,” and I’d enjoy her performance very much. Collette has presence, she has pure talent, and she just takes every role and makes it pop with her pure raw essence and personality. She makes Maggie into possibly the most sympathetic character on “In Her Shoes” as this woman who wants to love her sister but can’t quite get past the fact that she’s a snake. And one minor achievement within the slim story is the evolution of Maggie from lecherous bitch to kinder person and is well done on Diaz and the writers parts making her slowly more human and slightly less villainous.

When there’s narration in a film that can be remedied with obvious direction and editing, it usually means trouble. And from beginning to end “In Her Shoes” and I just didn’t get along. It’s hard to believe chick flick tripe like this was even revered with critical praise, but it happened. I, for one, just didn’t care for “In Her Shoes” in the end. It was just your typical woman issues junk. Two sisters, one is frumpy, and the other is devilishly sexy both experience an event that splits them up.

The rest of the film staggers on with their own individual stories, neither of which are as interesting as the writer thinks. Rose is the frumpy overweight yet stable sister who has a steady job and is having an affair with a superior while Maggie is a selfish irresponsible partier who always ends up back at her sister’s place whenever she gets in trouble. Why does Rose even put up with Maggie’s bull crap? Uh… they’re sisters… and she’s hot. For some vindictive few, there will be very little to steer us into sympathizing for Maggie, especially considering she never eve apologizes for her actions here.

We can understand why Rose would love her and put up with her, so why should we like Maggie? She’s a freeloader, she’s selfish, conniving, flirtatious, and she steals from her sister very often, yet we’re supposed to find solace in the fact that she turns a corner in her life learning the meaning of being responsible through working at an old folk’s home. Give me a break. The whole catalyst for beginning the actual plot is that Maggie, in her infinite bitchiness manages to bed Roses boyfriend, and they have an awfully stupid and unintentionally funny fight that causes a giant riff between them.

This, later results in an angle in which Rose blames her boyfriend for her sister’s actions (no Maggie isn’t a slutty traitorous snake, you’re an evil man, so she fell prey to your allure), and meanders into a pretty stale duel story of two women trying to find their way after they learn the secrets behind their mother’s death, and her sanity. Rose is being romanced by a new man, and gains a sense of self-confidence while Maggie mooches off of her grandmother, and learns to adapt to the living of the old folks home.

Shirley MacClaine’s unintentional role as a grandmother which felt awfully familiar, almost as if her character from “Terms of Endearment” wandered in, is trite and again just a giant plot device as she reconnects with her granddaughters and guides them to re-unite once more. All the while, we’re supposed to know that Maggie has changed her ways even though she never seems completely remorseful for ruining her sister’s relationship. “In Her Shoes” is a drama that would have been best left for the romance novel this stemmed from instead of just another soapy, sappy, cheesy overlong chick flick that doesn’t deserve half of the hype it received.

In spite of the very good performance by Toni Collette, Curtis Hanson’s saccharine and utterly cheesy chick flick is long, dull, melodramatic, and anxiously vies to be a “Terms of Endearment” for the generation “duh” crowd.

 

 

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