Comedy drama about two sisters with nothing in common but size 8 and a half feet. Maggie (Cameron Diaz) and Rose (Toni Collette) Feller are both best friends and polar opposites when it comes to values, goals and personal style. Maggie is a party girl who barely graduated from high school, recycles jobs as quickly as yesterday's newspapers and believes her biggest asset is her attractiveness to the opposite sex. Her recurring state of unemployment leaves her virtually homeless as she bounces between the sofas of her friends and relatives. With no confidence in her intellectual ability, she prizes makeup over books and has an innate talent for choosing the perfect accessories and clothes for any occasion. Rose (Toni Collette) is a Princeton educated attorney at a top law firm in Philadelphia. Her beautifully decorated prewar apartment is her haven from the outside world. With her nose perpetually to the grindstone, she struggles constantly with her weight and never feels comfortable in the clothes she wears. Her low self esteem regarding her physical appearance has left her dating life non-existent. Rose's one joy in life is shoes (because they always fit), but unfortunately she has few social opportunities to remove them from her closet. After a calamitous falling out, the two sisters travel a bumpy road toward true appreciation for one another - aided along the way by the discovery of Ella (Shirley MacLaine), the maternal grandmother they thought was dead. Through their reconnection with their grandmother, Maggie and Rose learn how to make peace with themselves and with each other.
In Her Shoes
just gets better and better as it goes along. As adapted by Erin Brockovich
screenwriter Susannah Grant, this is one of those rare movies that actually improves on its source material (Jennifer Weiner's "chick lit" bestseller), with thoughtful direction by Curtis Hanson, the L.A. Confidential
Oscar-winner who approaches any chosen genre with Hawksian versatility.
At first it seems like Weiner's novel might yield a standard melodrama of sibling rivalry, but the polar opposition of smart, plain-looking Philadelphia lawyer Rose (the always-excellent Toni Collette) and her sexy, illiterate, irresponsible sister Maggie (Cameron Diaz) is just the starting point. In Her Shoes becomes a moving, richly developed character study that deals with painful loss, long-term guilt, negative self-image, and the discovery of a heretofore unknown grandmother named Ella (played with delicate nuance by Shirley MacLaine), whose re-entry into the sisters' lives sets the stage for the well-earned emotions of a satisfying reconciliation.
As Maggie takes stock of her dismal life while staying with Ella at a Florida "retirement home for active seniors," Hanson never condescends to these likable characters, and never goes for the easy laughs in a setting that could have devolved into Cocoon-like comedy. The movie's all the more endearing for treating its male characters (played by Mark Feuerstein, Ken Howard, and Richard Burgi) with equal depth and sympathy, further enhancing a classy tearjerker that viewers of both genders can thoroughly enjoy.-- Jeff Shannon