DVD Review: In Her Shoes (Widescreen Edition)
Release Date: January 31, 2006
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
· Curtis Hanson
· Cameron Diaz
· Toni Collette
· Shirley MacLaine
· Richard Burgi
· IMDb: In Her Shoes
by R.J. Carter
Published: January 24, 2006
Rose and Maggie are sisters who have nothing in common except a shoe size. Freewheeling Maggie (Cameron Diaz, "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle") is a party girl who shirks responsibility. Her sister Rose (Toni Collette, "About a Boy") is the exact opposite -- a straight-laced, buttoned-down lawyer with a deflated sense of self-image.
Maggie is a thorn in Rose's existence -- crashing at her place, getting picked up drunk, having Rose's car impounded. When Rose finally has enough and tells her to be gone by that evening, Maggie goes too far. She sleeps with Rose's new boyfriend (and boss!) Jim (Richard Burgi, Point Pleasant, Desperate Housewives). This creates an irrepairable rift between the two, and Rose just wants Maggie out of her life for good.
Maggie goes back to her father's and stepmother's to get the last of her things and while engaging in some cash pilfering around the house discovers a drawer of unopened birthday cards from the grandmother she didn't know she had. It turns out that the family has a history of kissing off members permanently.
Having nowhere to go, Maggie heads to Florida to stay with Grandma Ella (Shirley MacLaine, "Bewitched") in her retirement community. There she stirs up all kinds of talk as she threatens to give the older men heart attacks by her mere presence at the pool.
As the two girls remain apart, they start to grow in character, each developing the traits of the other to fill the gaps in their incomplete personas -- Maggie never had to be responsible because Rose always picked up the slack in that area; what slack Maggie picked up for Rose is questionable. Nonetheless, Maggie finds out what it is she's good at -- personal shopping -- and starts to make a living at it for the seniors in the community. Rose quits her position at the law firm for the world of being a professional dog-walker, an activity that starts to get her into physically better shape.
Of course, as much as the girls experience growth, they can neither overcome the incompleteness they now have without each other, something that evidences itself in the relationship between Rose and her new fiance (it's only a few months into the relationship -- Rose is apparently a fast mover.) Naturally, the girls have to get back together, fix the schism between not only themselves but between their father and grandmother, and learn the dark family secret behind their mother's car accident that killed her when the sisters were young children.
There are a few moments that will jerk at your tear ducts, and sometimes things will meander along and make you wonder Just how long is this movie? Overall, however, this is a very character driven storyline that anyone who's ever wanted to kill a sibling will relate to.
There are a decent amount of special features, none of which seem to overlap with each other that much. The directors, producers, writers and actors do the usual "behind the scenes" discussion about the adaptation from book to screen, giving the basic Cliff Notes version of the plot. Of greater interest is the collection of sound bytes from the seniors who were cast as the extras to populate Grandma Ella's retirement community, most of whom had never acted before. The featurette on the casting of Hamlet as the dog "Honeybun 2" was heartwarming in that its focus is on rescuing dogs from shelters.
Previews on this disc are collected in a single montage, and include "Cheaper by the Dozen 2", "The Family Stone" and "Walk the Line". The language setup allows for viewing in English 5.1 Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround, Spanish Dolby Surround, with subtitles available in English and Spanish.
In Her Shoes - Widescreen Edition
"The People in the Shoes" (16:07)
"A Retirement Community for Acting Seniors" (11:02)
"From Death Row to the Red Carpet" (7:38)
Inside Look: "Just My Luck" starring Lindsay Lohan(2:15)