IN HER SHOES (2005) 

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Toni Collette
Cameron Diaz
Mark Feuerstein
Shirley MacLaine
Ken Howard
Candice Azzara
Brooke Smith
Richard Burgi
Francine Beers
Jerry Adler
Norman Lloyd

Curtis Hanson



Time: 130 mins.
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama/Comedy

SYNOPSIS: For sisters, Maggie (dumb and trampy) and Rose (smart and frumpy) couldn't be more different, yet they rely on each other until Maggie's latest blunder breaks their relationship apart. However, living without each other is harder than either of them expected, pushing their lives into suprising directions as they find their way back to sisterhood.

BOTTOM LINE: After watching this film, I can understand why it wasn;t a big success at the box office. It's too intelligent, too quiet, too real to develop a cute 1-minute campaign that will draw people into the theater. Hansen and company create a truthful view of sisterhood that will make you laugh and cry, showing the inescapable bond of family and the daily frustration of dealing with people you can never really get rid of. Collette and Diaz are technically typecast, yet they each bring their deep, multi-faceted and seriously flawed characters to life and make them more than the sum of their obvious traits. They are so good, that while you initially side with Collette's more dependable and honest Rose, by the end, Diaz's Maggie has won your heart with the heartfelt changes she's made to reform her life and regain her sister's trust.

This is an intricately-paced, intensely emotional piece that pursues the illusive ties that bind and how they affect our own personalities. The story could have gone out of control when the sisters basically switch lives – Rose gives up a promising law career to become a stress-free dog-walker while Maggie stops drinking, moves in with their grandmother and starts her own business – but the plot keeps their feet on the ground, forcing them to focus on their internal struggles with their heartbreaking past and searching for what they really want in the future. There are no easy fixes in this story, even though it eventually has a happy ending. It's a poignant film that leaves you feeling hopeful about your own family ties, yet resigned to the constant push and pull of those same expectations. Films these days are rarely as smart and geniune as this one. Like its characters it has its' flaws, but it's one to watch if you're tired of the same old rom/com crap.

"I liked you...I really liked you. She won't even remember your name. Probably can't even spell it."

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