Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Time to discuss a current obssession, shopgirl by Steve Martin. Er rather, steal a review for it, anyway. I have currently read the book and watched the film each twice. I just love them both.
Here's the cool thing about it. Steve Martin wrote the book, he then stars in the film, and I got a pretty good feeling that this story is very much about the real Steve Martin. That's just my hunch, though.
Now, I wanna talk about the film because I saw it last night. It's worth the rental for the opening scenes alone, which are shot in Saaks department store, all the customers dressed smartly in black and white. I have to always rewind the opening because it's just so cool, and here, I will say it again, this is Steve's film, his vision, and I like it.
And, I must admit, I do like the confident, successful, older man thing. The well dressed, hold the small of her back as you enter a room together, fly her up to Seattle for spontaneous evening, slip her tiny black boxes with jewels inside thing. Sigh.....very classy Steve, very classy indeed.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention, that Clare Danes all grown up and without her geese is hot hot hot! Enough said, check it out.

Here's my favorite review of the film, from the Rolling Stone:
Some audiences are just never going to cotton to a screen romance that has Steve Martin, 60, getting it on with Claire Danes, 26. To which I say: Grow up, people. The May-December thing worked in Lost in Translation and it works here, thanks to the perceptive and gracefully romantic script that Martin has adapted from his novella. This is not the wild-and-crazy Martin of Bringing Down the House, this is the Martin who writes for The New Yorker with erudition and wit. OK, you've been warned. For those still interested, we'll move on.
Martin, in a sharp, subtle performance, plays Ray Porter -- possessed of charm, intelligence and millions from an L.A. computer business that allows him to indulge his taste for art and sex. There is something courtly but detached about Ray that may have factored into his divorce. And the fact that Martin is probably writing about himself won't be lost on alert viewers.
Ray is first attracted to Vermont transplant and aspiring artist Mirabelle Buttersfield (Danes) when he sees her selling gloves at Saks. The pristine setting -- Mirabelle standing amidst uncluttered elegance -- is clearly a turn-on for Ray, who seems to prefer things untouched by human hands.
As yet, Ray doesn't know about Mirabelle's messy, age-appropriate relationship with Jeremy (a very funny Jason Schwartzman, who functions as the film's broadly comic relief). But even when he does find out, Ray isn't flustered. Mirabelle wears her emotions more openly. She aspires to Ray's sophistication. Mistakenly, she also thinks she can cut through his veneer. Danes, on a roll with Stage Beauty, Igby Goes Down and the upcoming Family Stone, gives her best performance yet. It's through her that Ray's character is truly defined. He doesn't see what he's missing by keeping Mirabelle at a distance, but we do in the light of Danes' luminosity and spirit.
That's intuitive filmmaking, and director Anand Tucker (Hilary and Jackie) deserves credit for letting us catch Mirabelle in and out of Ray's pumpkin shell. If Ray's world seems hermetically sealed -- Peter Suschitzky's cinematography is cannily sleek -- that's because it's the source of his comfort and his sorrow. Even the film's missteps (the score, by Barrington Pheloung, is cringe-inducing) can't stop this meditation on love -- Martin calls it "Jane Austen for the twenty-first century" -- from melting into heartbreak.
(Posted: Oct 20, 2005)

Here are a couple more shopgirl reviews if you're interested.

Have a lovely day!


G-Man said...

If this flick was so slick, why didn't anybody ever hear of it?
Did it go directly to DVD? Was Paris Hilton in it?
Other than that, I think Clare Danes is very HOT!!
Not quite as hot as you,
But hot none the less.xox

Seamus said...

Ooooh! A new addition to the Netflix queue.

Queenie said...

Love Steve Martin but hadn't heard of this. If it's still raining here in the UK this week-end (which I feel sure it will ), I'll pick it up and take it to the coast with me.
Thanks for the review, btw I love that hand in the small of my back..

jillie said...

You know...sometimes the low keyed flicks are always the best..I am going to have to check it out...thanks for the heads up.

jillie said...

I now remember what I was going to ask you...Do you know the band Hot Tuna? I guess I am going to see them on Monday at House of Blues. I figured if anyone knew them...YOU would ;o)

S said...

OK and I just have to also say that I love the way the photo on the book cover is the back fo shop girl leaning on the counter, while the cover of the movie has her front view, same pose....

Love itttt! Love it!!!

lime said...

ya know i thought about renting this and then picked up somethign else instead....i may need to go back