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Vince Throws Down with Shopgirl

Published November 29, 2005 in Movie Reviews
By Vince Palomarez | Images property of Touchstone Pictures
Shopgirl Shopgirl
Based on Steve Martin’s bestselling novella, Shopgirl catches a glimpse inside the lives of three very different people on diverse paths, but all in search of the same thing. Maribelle (Claire Danes) is a lonely young artist stuck working behind a counter selling gloves at a deaprtment store. Her life suddenly changes the moment she is introduced to two men, Jeremy (Jason Schwartzman), a slacker who has done nothing with his life and waelthy entrepenuer Ray Porter (Steve Martin). Stuck between the two, Maribelle must chose between the two in order to find the hapiness she has been craving for her whole life.

Shopgirl Movie Review



The Good


It’s been a couple of years since Claire Danes made her presence felt on the big screen and it’s good to see her back. Maribelle’s life and personality are so boring, a majority of other actresses wouldn’t know how to make her interesting, not Claire Danes. She does so many little things to giver her character so much depth and personality you can’t help but hope the best for her. With all the problems plaguing this film her performance was by far the highlight of the film.

The Bad


Shopgirl has so much potential going for it, it’s a shame that it never lives up to it. This film is so bad in so many ways it amazes me that it managed to get made. One of the main problems with Shopgirl is it’s execution. Trying to be part comedy and part drama is a hard thing to do and when not done right, one side is clearly effected. In this case it’s the comedy side. There are a few running gags inthis film that if explained to someone who hasn’t seen the film could be considered pretty funny, but when it’s executed on the screen there is nothing to laugh at. Maybe it’s due to an inexperieced director, but you would think with someone like Steve Martin involved he would be able to make the comedy work. Jason Schwartzman gives his best effort in trying to bring the comedy to the funny moments, but when it’s not executed right he comes off as overdoing it and the scenes totally fall apart.

Another big problem is chemistry. If you are going to do a romantic comedy/drama, seeing as how the key word here is”romantic”, the main strength of this film is going to be the chemistry between your leads. While Schwartzman and Danes are good together the pairing of Danes and Martin has to be one of the worst decisions. Danes doe sher best, but Steve Martin has no business playing the lead role in this film. He comes off as dull and boring and whenever he is in a scene with Danes he acts like that is the last place in the world he wants to be. The dialogue between the two seems robotic and totally forced and the two never seem to click together. Maybe that’s due to the 40 year age difference between the two (more on that later).



Shopgirl Shopgirl

The Ugly


I don’t know about you guys, but there is something incredibly creepy about 60-year old Steve Martin and 26-year old Clair Danes having a relationship with each other. The whole time I’m watching this I can’t help, but feel a little weird watching them together. Martin may not look like he’s aged over the years, but when you see close ups of his hands and face, then watch him make out with Danes odds are you’ll want to grab the barf bag as quickly as I did.

Overall


Shopgirl has so much promise, but fails to deliver on any of it. While Danes gives an excellent performance the rest of the cast seems to be on cruise control. With no chemistry between the leads, horrible music and a creepy feeling watching the leads make out, stay as far away from this film as possible.

Score:



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Vince Palomarez
Sources: Images property of Touchstone Pictures
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