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Shopgirl Gets Fired

Part of: Hollywood , Literati

[Breakfast: apricot yogurt]

"Shopgirl’s" first incarnation was as a novella written by Steve Martin. The novella was a charming, fast read. The movie was a long, often boring cinematic experience. Martin also penned the screenplay. Thank God for Jason Schwartzman’s hilarious performance as Jeremy – he was the film’s only redeeming feature. When I read "Shopgirl," I had pictured Winona Ryder as Mirabelle, but was happy when Claire Danes was chosen. Unfortunately I was disappointed in Danes’ performance. I generally believe that she’s a talented actress, though I can’t remember the last movie she was in. Perhaps it was the director’s fault, but her take on Mirabelle didn’t ring true.

Claire Danes played an awkward teenager for years on "My So-Called Life," so I don’t know why she couldn’t play a depressed adult. Danes only came to life in the few moments that Mirabelle was happy. Who knows, maybe the actress herself was distracted because she had to wear the most disgusting vintage clothes that I’d ever seen with the exception of a vintage Prada dress. I was expecting to see a Prada dress from the most current collection. The film was supposed to take place modern day, but followed the trend of letting the costume designer pick clothes from any era. This trend needs to stop. It’s bad when the clothes distract from the characters and story. Also, Saks would never hire such a poorly dressed girl even to sell gloves in nowhere land.

It means something when a film was filmed 2 years ago and just got released and it’s not a good something. It’s bad when I get so bored that I start noticing continuity errors. In one scene, Danes was actually wearing a lovely Chinese dress to go on a date with Martin. In the next scene, she’s on the date in a brown dress the color of mud or something else equally as ugly. This adds to the disjointed feeling of the story. There seemed to be key scenes in the novella that were missing in the movie like when Ray Porter (played by Martin) and Mirabelle go on their first date at the romantic restaurant Il Cielo in Beverly Hills. (Actually DK and I had the worst experience ever at Il Cielo, so it could have taken place elsewhere.) I also didn’t understand in the movie why Mirabelle fell for Ray Porter except for the fact that he was her sugar daddy. The movie did make me want to go shopping, though. I wish I had gone shopping instead of watching "Shopgirl." Read the novella, but skip the movie.


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