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Ghost Canyon

'In Her Shoes'
(Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, Shirley MacLaine, Anson Mount, et al / DVD / PG-13 / (2005) 2006 / 20th Century Fox)

Overview: Flirty, flaky party girl Maggie (Diaz) and plain, dependable lawyer Rose (Collette) are sisters, best friends and bitter rivals who seem to have only two things in common: DNA and size 8 1/2 feet. Only when their love-hate relationship veers towards the hate end of the spectrum do they accidentally discover they also share a long-lost grandmother (MacLaine) who enriches their lives and helps them make peace with each other—and themselves!

DVD Verdict: It must take courage to wade through an overstuffed yet flimsy novel such as Jennifer Weiner's IN HER SHOES and find that without all the paraphernalia bruising the essential message there is a fine story to be told. Such is the case of director Curtis Hanson ('8 Mile,' 'A Confidential,' 'The Wonder Boys') who consistently pares down stories and focuses on significant human issues. He is greatly aided by Susannah Grant's fine screenplay and by a cast of actors who are at their peak. For all the PR that ruined this film in the theaters (the Magnum Opus 'chick flick', about shoes, silly graphics, etc), this is in truth a fine drama about sibling rivalry and sibling devotion and the cruel effects self-loathing bifurcated parents unwittingly have on their offspring. Rose Feller (Toni Collette) is a bright but dumpy lawyer, successful in her career but miserable in her social life. Her sister Maggie (Cameron Diaz) is her opposite: a silly, shallow, drunken, dishonest party girl who has never been able to hold down even the most menial job for her obsession with men and inappropriate sexual situations. Moving in with Rose out of desperation, Maggie turns Rose's life into chaos: the two fight, loathe each other, split and yet each of the disparate sisters also acknowledges that they are, in the end, all that each has. When Rose finally throws Maggie out, Maggie moves to Florida to mooch off the grandmother (Shirley MacLaine) neither sister has ever known because of a long standing parental riff that has altered their lives more than they appreciate. The separation of the sisters by space offers each the chance to discover each other's value and the manner in which the two rejoin is the results of tough lessons learned. Collette, Diaz, and MacLaine each offer wholly professional, fully realized performances. The supporting cast is likewise fine and the keen directorial leadership by Hanson is evident. The film is grossly overlong (130 minutes filled with far too much repetitive excess) and the opting for sentimentality as the film moves toward the finish is a bit off-putting, but the surprise here is that this is really a good movie! This is a Widescreen presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Alternate Opening Title Sequence;
The Casting of Honey Bun;
Making of In Her Shoes Featurette;
"A Community For Acting Seniors" featurette;
Inside Look: John Tucker & Just My Luck.
www.Foxhome.com





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