Top positive review
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one word, WOW!
on 17 January 2006
Curtis Hanson wouldn’t be the most likely choice or the first to adapt the Jennifer Weiner novel about girls and shoes ‘In Her Shoes’. The dramatic comical tale of two sisters and how their lives differ after a harsh betrayal in the sisterhood. This at first glance isn’t the perfect material for the director of the violent testosterone driven ‘LA Confidential’. How wrong that initial thought is.
Toni Collette plays Rose, a work driven, frumpy and downright depressed lawyer. Cameron Diaz is Maggie, the opposite cliché, the free spirited party girl. Maggie is ever dependent on her sibling, but when she crosses the line when Rose finally hits the jackpot romantically, a painful feud and separation ensues.
Collette boasts her undisputable star power, as she brings new life to her superb character that could have been a daft stereotype in the hands of a less established actress. Rose is always looking out for her sister, considering job possibilities before her own personal indulgences. Collette portrays this element of her character deftly and powerfully. The murmurs of Best Actress Oscar just keep getting louder. Diaz is of a similar strength, avoiding the cliché in like Collette in her believable and poignant role.
Hanson moulds wonderful and unexplored elements of the family drama, intertwining the serious and amusing features into a genre type that switches between the sisters’ lives.
There is no violence present, yet certain parts of the frame can easily appeal to the male viewers (and no, not just Cameron Diaz in a skimpy bikini). On the surface, all the qualities that structure the chick flick are there, but internally, the film contains a brutal frankness
about it and snappy humour to entertain the boys.
There is an effective transition between the cold Philadelphia cityscape and the colourful Florida resort. Shirley Maclaine doesn’t surprise in her wise old grandmother role, and she shines as the legend she is, being one of the key players in Hanson’s scheme to teach the importance of family emotions. In fact the whole quartet of elders (particularly the hospitalised ex-professor) are rewarding to the film.
By turns it ‘s heartwarming yet at particular times heart wrenching, and the film’s leads teach the integral values of family, love and human emotions.
As mentioned several times previously, the potential clichés have been avoided, by Weiner’s skill to restore the characters to compelling people, and Erin Brockovich scribe Susannah Grant does justice to the gifts that the sophomore aimed novel gave us.
Compassionate, moving yet hilarious. Through the hardest negative efforts to find a flaw to this, I just can’t insult this honest faultless gem.