|SHOPGIRL (director: Anand Tucker; screenwriter: screenplay and novella by Steve Martin; cinematographer: Peter Suschitzky; editor: David Gamble; music: Barrington Pheloung; cast: Steve Martin (Ray Porter), Claire Danes (Mirabelle Buttersfield), Jason Schwartzman (Jeremy), Bridgette Wilson-Sampras (Lisa Cramer), Sam Bottoms (Dan Buttersfield), Frances Conroy (Catherine Buttersfield), Mark Kozelek (Real-life singer of the Red House Painters). Rebecca Pidgeon (Christie Richards).; Runtime: 107; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Steve Martin/Ashok Amritraj/Jon Jashni; Touchstone Pictures; 2005)|
glum love story."
by Dennis Schwartz
glum love story based on the 2001 novella by
Steve Martin, who is also the writer,
producer, narrator and star of this personal
film not necessarily drawn from his own life.
Anand Tucker ("Hilary and
Jackie"/"Leap Year") directs with great
delicacy but without much depth. Martin's
narration is sour and over-used, and becomes
increasingly tiresome. The romance follows the
formula of Lost in Translation, of an older
man with a younger woman and all the cliches
of that bromide.
(Jason Schwartzman) is a grubby
loud-mouth slacker, who creates fonts
for a music amplifier company. At the launderette the
lively young man meets Mirabelle
Danes) and begins a questionable love
relationship with her. She's a former Vermonter,
who is an aspiring artist leading a mundane life
on the Left Coast. Mirabelle is unhappy working
in Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills as a
counter clerk, in the glove department. At work,
the wealthy middle-aged smoothie, Ray Porter
(Steve Martin), with luxury homes in LA and
Seattle, and a private jet, hits on her and they
begin a sexual only relationship. He gives her
expensive gifts and pays off her student loan,
but to her chagrin never says he loves her.
observe how these three approach a relationship
through their dreams, their empty urban lives
and their loneliness. In reality, the
observations are superficial. The vulnerable
Mirabelle just wants to find love and needs
chemicals for her depression. The smug Martin
just can't commit to love. And the misfit Jeremy
needs to act like an adult. Meanwhile Martin's
lechery is viewed as merely the way life
sometimes goes in the real world. The film is
seen through Martin's POV, who seems more like a
jerk than a nice guy.
Wilson-Sampras plays the gold-digger co-worker
of Danes, whose crude antics lead one to believe
she's in the wrong movie.
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ