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In Her Shoes (A Movie Review)

Updated: Oct 4, 2021

In Her Shoes


Starring Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, Shirley MacLaine, Ken Howard, Mark Feuerstein, Francine Beers, Jerry Adler, Norman Lloyd, Richard Burgi, Candace Azzara, Brooke Smith, Eric Balfour, Carlease Burke, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Alan Blumenfeld, Jackie Geary, Dorothy Kelly and Ivana Milecivic.

Screenplay by Susannah Grant.

Directed by Curtis Hanson.

Distributed by 20th Century Fox. 130 minutes.  Rated PG-13.

With friends it is easier.  When they call you at three in the morning because they are too drunk to get home, or when they steal your boyfriends or your shoes; you can just decide they aren’t worth the heartache and write them off to experience.  It doesn’t work so well if you share the same gene pool.

No matter how much you battle, how often you disappoint each other, there is a built-in bond that is hard to just ignore.

In Her Shoes is an examination and a celebration of this bond.  Based on a novel by former Philadelphia Inquirer scribe Jennifer Weiner, it looks at two sisters who are polar opposites.

Maggie Feller is a beautiful-but-aging party girl who has gotten by on petty larceny and her looks.  She has never held a job for any extended time, nor has she been able (or even really tried) to overcome her dyslexia.  She’s not getting any younger and the years of skating by are coming to a close, but she always knows if she really gets in trouble, her older sister Rose will bail her out.

Rose Feller is a smart, workaholic Philadelphia lawyer who has nearly given up on relationships due to low self-esteem.  (Rose is often referred to… and refers to herself… as fat, however Collette certainly isn’t.  Granted, compared to Diaz, she looks a little dumpy, but you never quite buy her as the loveless loser that she is made out to be.)

When Maggie finally pushes her sister too far, she goes down to Florida to mooch off of the grandmother she has just learned is still alive.  Shirley MacLaine plays this grandmother as a smart, loving, watchful and understanding sort, but one who will not stand for being used.

With grandma’s help, Maggie finds a new life in Florida.  Because she can’t fall back into her old habits in this seniors’ community, Maggie actually gets her first serious job as a hospital worker and learns to care for the elderly people she meets like a dying blind retired Professor (Norman Lloyd) and her grandmother’s spitfire best friend.  (Francine Beers nearly steals the movie as a little old yenta who acts more like a Florida native than all the others combined — she obviously knows this world.)

Yes, In Her Shoes is the epitome of chick flicks.  And, yes, if it becomes a big hit, it will undoubtedly spawn many copycats that are not nearly as smart which will annoy the hell out of most guys dragged to them.  However, everyone will enjoy this movie.  (10/05)

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2005  All rights reserved. Posted: October 14, 2005.

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