Shopgirl : 4 of 5
I read Steve Martin's novella Shopgirl back in 2001, and was impressed with the character development and writing style. I'm glad Steve finally made it into a movie, and while there are definitely lots of changes that were needed to bring this story to the screen, it definitely keeps the feel and message of the book. Claire Danes plays Mirabelle, who lives a lonely life working at the glove counter of a Beverly Hills department store, and she becomes the interest of two guys. Jeremy is a loveable loser, and Ray (played by Steve) is a weathly older man in his 50s. The characters all undergo major changes through their relationship, and the tone of the film really reminded me of Lost in Translation, making it easy to identify with everyone's restless feelings. I love the parallel structure of how Mirabelle inspires Jeremy to grow, while at the same time Ray inspires Mirabelle to change (in very different ways, of course). I enjoyed the haunting soundtrack (which really enhanced the emotional impact), and all of the shots of Los Angeles really showed Steve's fascination with the city. Really, the only thing I thought was unnecessary was a few moments of narration (by Steve) - I guess they gave a flavor of Steve's writing style in the book, but they really added nothing to the movie (in my opinion, narration like this almost never works). Shopgirl was definitely a nice movie to enjoy with a glass of wine on a dreary night!