A Moment of Jen
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Saturday, October 15, 2005
posted by Jen at 10/15/2005 06:24:00 PM

This weekend's all-new reasons to go see "In Her Shoes."

1. Because Friday was e.e. cummings' birthday (and my friend Sharon took the time to tell me so).

2. Because Roger Ebert says ""In Her Shoes" starts out with the materials of an ordinary movie and becomes a rather special one. The emotional payoff at the end is earned, not because we see it coming as the inevitable outcome of the plot, but because it arrives out of the blue and yet, once we think about it, makes perfect sense. It tells us something fundamental and important about a character, it allows her to share that something with those she loves, and it does it in a way we could not possibly anticipate. Like a good poem, it blindsides us with the turn it takes right at the end."

3. Because Steve Persall of the St. Pete (FL) Times recognizes that the movie takes its older characters seriously: "This brings us to an amazing facet of In Her Shoes: This is a movie that pays a lot of attention to old people living believable lives that are laced with witty wisdom and cooperative coping. The residents of Ella's retirement village aren't the butt of jokes about feebleness and geriatric sexuality, as in so many inferior movies. These characters are treated with the respect they deserve."

4. Because across the pond, The Telegraph (UK) [heart] Toni Collette. "Rose is more sympathetic than a dozen Bridget Joneses, and this sublime actress - so good at romantic frustration, welling emotion, and outbursts of giggly euphoria - is the reason why."

5. Because the Detroit Free Press thinks guys should see it too: ""In Her Shoes" was adapted from a popular book whose three principal characters are female. So it will undoubtedly be dismissed by many critics and much of the public as a chick flick. This is what happens when art -- be it classical or popular -- gets ghettoized. It took too long for many people to be made aware of the brilliance of James Brown and the late August Wilson, but eventually art wins out. . . . It would be a terrible shame if half the population didn't see it because the film was labeled unjustly."

6. Because ScreenIt.com paid very close attention and counted "At least 10 "s" words, 3 slang terms for sex ("laid" and variations of "screw"), 1 using male genitals ("pr*ck"), 3 hells, 2 asses, 1 damn, 7 uses of "God," 3 of "Oh God" and 1 use each of "G-damn," "Jesus" and "Oh my God.""

7. Because Carrie Rickey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes, "How much do I love MacLaine in this movie? Ella, her best role since Aurora in Terms of Endearment, is Aurora's opposite: a self-reliant, self-contained widow who sublimates her control-freak instincts into helping those who can't help themselves, including Maggie, who initially sees Ella as a meal ticket.

"For the thesis-antithesis sisters, Ella is the synthesis, the one who reveals the crucial missing piece of the family drama. Reconnecting with the family elder enables the sisters finally to walk in each other's sandals, to get on with their lives instead of remaining stuck in self-assigned ruts as the outsider who imagines everyone else is an insider."

8. Because even Entertainment Weekly's Lisa Schwartzbaum, who seems to think "chick lit" is an insult, agrees that Shirley MacLaine is due an Oscar nomination for her work in "In Her Shoes."

9. Because the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel -- the paper my Nanna takes -- says the movie offers a "funny, warm and mostly smart depiction of familial relations."

10. Because the Economist -- a magazine that makes an R-rated appearance in GOODNIGHT NOBODY -- says "The performances of both Ms Diaz and Ms Collette could not be bettered." And then calls Elizabeth Bishop and e.e. cummings' work "bad poetry." Hmm.

This will be my last post-slash exhortation for a while. I'm leaving Sunday morning for a ten day tour of California, Arizona, Wisconsin and Illinois, and I hope to see as many of you as possible on the road. (But see the movie first!)
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