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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

In Her Shoes

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Judy Thorburn

In Her Shoes

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Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

“IN HER SHOES” IS LACED WITH FITTING MESSAGES

To say that In Her Shoes, which is based on the book by Jennifer Weiner, is another typical chick flick would do this film great injustice.   Once you see it I am sure you’ll agree that this is a movie both men and women can relate to since it deals with family issues that transcend gender.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, In Her Shoes, Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, Tony Collette, Toni Colette, Shirley MacLaine, Shirley McLaine, Curtis Hanson

Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette play two very different sisters from Philadelphia who must travel different paths in life before coming to terms with each other. Maggie (Diaz) is the irresponsible, devil may care party girl, a male magnet who uses her looks and manipulative ways to get by. She not a very likeable character who steals without a conscience, is a slob to live with and unable to hold even a menial job at clothing stores like the Gap. Big sister and best friend Rose (Collette), on the other hand, is the not as thin, overachiever lawyer, with issues of her own who has never been in a serious relationship. The topic of shoes comes up while Maggie is checking out Rose’s closet which is stacked with scores of different styles.  While Maggie sees shoes as a sexy clothing accessory, Rose says she buys shoes to feel better when she’s down. To give us a little insight into her self-esteem, she proceeds to say, “Food makes me fatter, but shoes always fit”.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, In Her Shoes, Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, Tony Collette, Toni Colette, Shirley MacLaine, Shirley McLaine, Curtis Hanson

Rose has also assumed the role of Maggie’s confidant and protector since childhood after their mom died and Dad remarried, even though they’ve clashed on numerous occasions. When Maggie is thrown out of her father (Ken Howard) and stepmom’s (Candice Azzara) house Rose takes her in.  But, the final straw comes when Maggie is found in bed with the man Rose has been dating. Once again tossed out with nowhere to live, Maggie takes a bus to Florida with hopes of mooching off Ella Hirsch (Shirley MacLaine), her long lost, widowed maternal grandmother.

It is at this point that the sisters start a new chapter in their lives.  Free from each other, Rose decides to quit the law firm, starts her own business as a professional dog walker and begins a romance with sweet, sincere Simon Stein (Mark Feurstein) an associate at her former law firm, who admits being smitten since their first hello.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, In Her Shoes, Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, Tony Collette, Toni Colette, Shirley MacLaine, Shirley McLaine, Curtis Hanson

Maggie, meanwhile, is welcomed by her surprised grandma Ella, who lives at a “retirement community for active seniors”.  Ella, although happy to see the granddaughter she feels she abandoned years before, nevertheless, insists Maggie get a job to earn, what she wants – enough money to go to New York, after catching her going through a dresser drawer to steal some cash. Maggie gets a job at a nursing facility, where a former professor (Norman Lloyd), although blind, sees in Maggie something she didn’t know she was capable of. It’s a learning experience that makes an enormous impact on her life.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, In Her Shoes, Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, Tony Collette, Toni Colette, Shirley MacLaine, Shirley McLaine, Curtis Hanson

Ultimately it takes being apart and a chance for self-discovery and personal growth in order for the siblings to mend their broken relationship.

There are so many issues addressed in In Her Shoes that revolve around family conflicts. Dad, Grandma, and the sisters all have issues that need to be resolved.  Guilt, regret, and responsibility are just a few that hit a chord. The message of forgiveness should also hit home in a big way for audiences who understand too well the ties that bind.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, In Her Shoes, Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, Tony Collette, Toni Colette, Shirley MacLaine, Shirley McLaine, Curtis Hanson

Director Curtis Hanson (8 Mile, L.A. Confidential) working from a script by Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich) proves once more that he knows how to execute a well-written story.

Cameron Diaz gives her best performance since Gangs of New York, but still cannot hold a candle to the very versatile, reliable Toni Collette who is the film’s heart and soul. Shirley MaClaine has the least film time of the three female leads. Needless to say this veteran actress eases into her role, like every other she’s done, without a glitch. Her presence is a plus to an already worthwhile film.  I also got a kick out of Francine Beer’s scene stealing performance as one of Ella’s elderly friends, the wise cracking, but nevertheless wise, Mrs. Lefkowitz.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, In Her Shoes, Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, Tony Collette, Toni Colette, Shirley MacLaine, Shirley McLaine, Curtis Hanson

The only issue that gives me cause to complain is why a normal size woman, who looks to be no more than size 8 or 10, should be considered fat.  In the movie’s press notes it says Collette gained 25 pounds for this role. Yet, her character does not look even lose to chubby, but she is called fat and sees herself that way.  I am sick of the negative message being sent to young impressionable female audiences, which promotes only super skinny size 2 or 0 as acceptable forms of beauty. Enough is enough!

Other than that sole problem, In Her Shoes has everything else going for it. Therefore, it stands to deserve a fitting recommendation.