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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely different, somewhat unsettling, yet fascinating
I'm at something of a loss as to how to go about reviewing this particular movie. There's really no pigeon-holing Shopgirl, as it's just an odd mixture of drama and romance. It's definitely not heavy on comedy, so you'll need to look elsewhere if you want Steve Martin to make you laugh. Somehow managing to be both superficial and introspective, this film easily drew me...
Published on 18 Aug 2006 by Daniel Jolley

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More interesting than your average rom-com.
I think this film may have slight delusions of grandeur, but it's still nice to watch. The characters are well-played, and it's nice to see personalities that aren't Hollywood perfect and 'normal'. Jason Swartzman is very funny, and lends the film a bit of the 'indie' spirit and weirdness I think it's going for. The voiceover by Martin though is trite and annoying, and...
Published on 25 July 2007 by shpadoinkle


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely different, somewhat unsettling, yet fascinating, 18 Aug 2006
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Shopgirl [DVD] (DVD)
I'm at something of a loss as to how to go about reviewing this particular movie. There's really no pigeon-holing Shopgirl, as it's just an odd mixture of drama and romance. It's definitely not heavy on comedy, so you'll need to look elsewhere if you want Steve Martin to make you laugh. Somehow managing to be both superficial and introspective, this film easily drew me in, but I never really felt comfortable in this world of lovers and choices. For me, there's just something unsettling about the whole thing; it plays like a special romantic episode of The Twilight Zone.

You've got to hand it to Steve Martin, though; besides writing the novella upon which the film is based (as well as the actual screenplay) and starring in the film, he gets to spend some quality romantic time with the always-enchanting Claire Danes. Good work, my friend. I think it is this May-November (I don't think Steve Martin quite deserves the December label just yet) relationship that bothers me a little bit, though - not that there's anything wrong with it. It's the nature of this specific relationship that I find troubling, for plot-related reasons it would be uncouth of me to reveal in a review.

This whole story really revolves around Claire Danes' character, Mirabelle Buttersfield. She's a young woman whose dreams of a fresh new start in L.A. have settled down into a life of boredom and disappointment. Selling gloves at Saks isn't exactly fulfilling, nor does it pay enough to start making a dent on all if Mirabelle's student loans. Not only is she lonely enough to go out with a really weird, grungy, hairy "artist," she's lonely enough to actually call him up after their first undeniably boring date. The young man, Jeremy (Jason Schwartzman), is smitten with her, of course, but he is soon replaced by a new man in Mirabelle's life - a man more than old enough to be her father. Ray Porter (Steve Martin) is charming and safe, which allows him to win our young salesgirl's affection rather easily. Unfortunately, the nature of that relationship comes to differ in the minds of Ray and Mirabelle, and that is the emotional lever upon which this distinctive story hinges. Ultimately, Mirabelle faces a bona fide life-changing decision. It's much more than a simple romantic choice between two very different men, as it leads to a whole new direction in Mirabelle's life.

I liked this movie, but I'm still not sure just how much I liked it. The superficiality of the characters creates several plot points that took place too quickly and with no contextual support, and the whole thing invoked a number of private Why? questions in my mind. That makes this film less emotionally compelling than it could have been, yet I still found Shopgirl captivating in a way I can't completely understand.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overlooked movie destined for cult acclaim..., 3 July 2006
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Shopgirl [DVD] (DVD)
Adapted by Steve Martin from his novella of the same name, `Shopgirl' seems to me a tad overlooked and a companion to `Secretary' - sadly more people are willing to watch silly Steve Martin movies like `Cheaper By the Dozen' & `The Pink Panther.' As longtime admirers of Martin will note, he has often been excellent in `straight' roles such as those in `Grand Canyon', `L.A. Story' (his `Manhattan') , `Novocaine' & David Mamet's Hitchcockian `The Spanish Prisoner.' As he adapted his own novella, Martin pictured Dustin Hoffmann in the role of Ray Porter, but as time marched on it became apparent he was the ideal candidate for the unlikeable character.

The `Shopgirl' of the title is Mirabelle Butterfield, played by Claire Danes who looks a lot like the character of Angela Chase from the seminal TV-series `My So-Called Life' in which she starred (watch out for the scene in the DVD shop where you see DVDs of `My So-Called Life' and `Saturday Night Live'!) Part of me watching the world of Mirabelle felt as if you were watching Angela several years on, when things began not to work out in the adult world. Mirabelle is a lonely girl who sells gloves in Saks Department Store with a vast student loan, a life shared with a cat, artistic aspirations she can't quite develop, and a dependency on anti-depressants. She meets Jeremy (the excellent Jason Schwartzman - `Rushmore' & `Marie Antoinette') who comes across as a stoner loser, but will do in the meantime - their initial coupling is unromantic stuff, a simple prop to occupy her time. Meanwhile Mirabelle sells a set of female gloves to Ray Porter, who it turns out, has purchased them for her. Porter is rich, living in two homes in a sterile penthouse luxury, Mirablle, another prop to occupy his time.

To say more would spoil the movie, a film that does show a darker side, from Porter's cold world (one scene where he watches her try on a designer dress reminded me of `Vertigo'), to Mirabelle's dependency on anti-depressants. Unlike the lame `Garden State', this film shows that there is a negative to going cold turkey on anti-depressants. The subplot including the Hot Tears on the road is excellent, the lead singer is played by former Red House Painter/current Sun Kil Moon leader Mark Kozelek, a charming mentor who should have been on screen a lot more (Kozelek advances on his small roles in Cameron Crowe's `Almost Famous' & `Vanilla Sky'). The band even have former Low-bassplayer Zak Sally in their line-up - shame there wasn't more of them on the road, and is it me, or should Jeremy & Mirabelle crossed paths in New York? (That's where I thought the plot was leading...) Nice to hear Sun Kil Moon's classic `Carry Me Ohio' in the soundtrack, though the director should have had the guts to play all of it as we took in the lead characters' worlds. It should be noted that the cinematography is fantastic, having moments that feel magical, and plenty of shots you could lose yourself in. & the dénouement is charming stuff...a film to brighten the day, `Shopgirl' deserves an audience, an anti-`Pretty Woman' for our time. Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More interesting than your average rom-com., 25 July 2007
By 
shpadoinkle - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Shopgirl [DVD] (DVD)
I think this film may have slight delusions of grandeur, but it's still nice to watch. The characters are well-played, and it's nice to see personalities that aren't Hollywood perfect and 'normal'. Jason Swartzman is very funny, and lends the film a bit of the 'indie' spirit and weirdness I think it's going for. The voiceover by Martin though is trite and annoying, and almost ruined the ending for me, so maybe try to ignore it.
The central message, being the importance of true love, isn't original exactly, but sometimes it's nice to be reminded of these things.
It's worth watching. :)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very pleasant and engaging surprise, 7 Dec 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Shopgirl [DVD] (DVD)
Shopgirl is an engaging character piece that's shot with imagination and compassion and, while offering an inevitable and predictable ending still manages to leave you wondering just how it's going to get there. It's a gentle loving film that cares about its characters even while it concentrates on their flaws, and is graced by three strong performances: a very appealing Clare Danes, a wonderful slacker turn from Jason Schwartzman who finds great touches that aren't in the script (thank the lord that Jimmy Fallon dropped out!) and a very generous one from Steve Martin, who never hogs the limelight but keeps his distance while quietly drawing out his character's emotional limitations. Aside from its surprisingly strong visual sense and impressive use of the Scope frame, it's also great on the little throwaway details that cause the deepest pain in relationships - the key breakup is caused by a unthinking joke that is only insensitive in view of the characters' past history. There's also a fine use of third person narration by author Martin, used only at four points in the movie to illuminate desires and concepts that can't be comfortably fitted in as dialog or scenes that adds to the sad awareness of the piece. A very pleasant and engaging surprise.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Searing honesty" is right..., 16 Sep 2006
By 
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This review is from: Shopgirl [DVD] (DVD)
An incredible movie -its strengths come from the simple honesty with which the story was told. I think this simplicity has perhaps been misunderstood by some of those rating it poorly. Yes, there is so little of the usual hollywood signposting that sometimes you wonder about the background of the characters or other details, but taken for what it is -a story of two very different relationships experienced by the central character, it is incredibly moving. The emotional experience of the viewer following this story is only heightened by the straight-forward and honest presentation of Mirabelles relationships in contrast to so many films which distance the viewer with excessive sentiment and unreal romanticism. But despite the reality, expect a gentle ride due to the beautiful cinematography, set & costume design.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars slow-paced film with few surprises for the viewer, 5 Nov 2007
This review is from: Shopgirl [DVD] (DVD)
This was a film worth watching for Claire Danes performance but the overall story wasn't too compelling because the character of Jeremy was just too uninteresting.This was a showcase for a beautiful and talented actress and I can only conclude that when Steve Martin wrote the novella on which the film was based that he put most of his energy into developing Mirabelle's character and very little into Ray Porter's and
Jeremy's (ray porter is basically just the steve martin you see in most of his films from years ago but in Shopgirl Martin looks as old as the male characters in the film seem lazy and tired).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected treat...., 28 Jun 2007
This review is from: Shopgirl [DVD] (DVD)
There are a lot of reviews for this film and a lot of them seem somewhat unfair.
Perhaps if this film has been advertised as a rom/com then one may feel that they have been misled. If this is the case then I would understand that there may be some grievance with the way the film has been show cased.
However, the film itself lacks nothing. If you believe that in order for a film to be romantic and have humour you must see cutesy blonde running into a window, sliding to the floor only to then be picked up by some Hollywood pretty boy, then I'll agree this is not for you.

This is a wonderful heart aching love story; it combines real characters with genuine feeling. At times very funny, sweet and often moving, what makes this film refreshing is that the sadness, gentleness and humour are sentiments we have no doubt experienced at one time or another. This is not cue laughter material, it is much more than that.
If you're looking at your life and wondering what beauty you have missed, if you are just getting there and trying to work it out, if you have ever experience unrequited love then you will understand what this wonderful film is about.
This is a slow passed, character enhanced story, with a fabulous cast and a beautifully haunting soundtrack.
Steve Martin, I thank you. Shopgirl, I will cherish you.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film true to original Book, 16 July 2006
By 
S. J. Robinson "popsiewoof" (doncaster, south yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Shopgirl [DVD] (DVD)
I read the book written by Steve Martin in 2002 and found it to be very good, i was worried that the film adaptation may not be true to the book, but it was , Steve Martin is excellent playing one of his own characters and Claire Danes makes an excellent Mirabelle with the insecurity and vulnerability of the original character, her young boyfriend is excellent too. It is very well filmed, a really good film !
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poignant & Sweet dramedy, 16 May 2006
This review is from: Shopgirl [DVD] (DVD)
Shopgirl is not quite a romcom and not quite a serious drama but what could have been a problem seems to add to the appeal of this film.

Claire Danes plays Mirabelle, the Shopgirl of the title. She has moved to LA seeking a new life and ends up on a date with Jeremy who she meets in the launderette. Their date doesn't go exactly as planned and Mirabelle certainly doesn't see him as someone she can have a future with.

After a chance meeting with the wealthy Ray (Steve Martin) in the department store where she works she's transported to a new world with him. Ray is wealthy and shows Mirabelle a wholly different life. However, Ray doesn't seem to show honesty despite being able to provide for her materially.

Shopgirl is sweet but at the same time intelligent. It challenges many of the stereotypes and issues around dating and relationships without straying into completely predictable terrain.

Overall, well worth a watch but likely to be one for the ladies.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!, 27 Aug 2006
By 
Ms. Angela Walker "theratties" (Aberdeen UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shopgirl [DVD] (DVD)
This film is beautiful! I can see why Mirabelle would be interested in both of the male characters and can understand why she might be on anti-depressents, without seeing her doctor's notes! I smiled, I cried and in the end, I totally "got" this film!
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Shopgirl [DVD]
Shopgirl [DVD] by Anand Tucker (DVD - 2006)
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