Drama based on the novel by popular comedy actor Steve Martin. The story follows Mirabelle (Claire Danes), a disenchanted salesgirl and aspiring artist who sells gloves and accessories at a department store. She has two men in her life: wealthy divorcee Ray Porter (Martin) and struggling musician Jeremy (Jason Schwartzman). Mirabelle falls in love with the glamorous Ray, and her life takes a magical turn, but eventually she realises that she must empower herself and make a choice between them.
Based on the novella by Steve Martin (who also pens the screenplay), Shopgirl
centres on Mirabelle Buttersfield (played by Claire Danes), a lonely young woman working in the glove department of a vast department store. Working by day and occasionally spending time on her art at night, Mirabelle craves company, and that leads her to accept an offer of a date from Jeremy, a manic and slob-like character, and not one whos instantly particularly likeable. And then the very wealthy Ray Porter (Martin) comes on the scene. He too asks Mirabelle out, and the rest of the film follows her relationship with the two men who are effectively fighting for her affections.
In lesser hands, Shopgirl could easily sink under a wave of clichés, yet Martins script never lets that happen. Mixing in a gamut of emotions, and charting the highs and lows of romance, theres a searing honesty to it all that makes the film hard to resist. Martin and Danes both give excellent performances too, although Jason Schwartzman as Jeremy does have a tendency to overcook his part in whats primarily a quiet, diligent film. Yet without resorting to big grandstand moments or contrived situations, Shopgirl manages, with little fuss, to tell an intriguing story in a very warm manner.--Simon Brew