a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Monday, October 10, 2005

In Her Shoes

No Spoilers.

I liked this movie a lot more than I thought it would, and it's a good example of something interesting -- it's a plotline that is actually really rather thin, that works because the characters are likable and involving (and the acting is very solid). Because we get drawn into the lives of these characters, we want to know what happens to them, and even though some of it is predictable, most of it is well-earned. These are fleshed-out, human characters with deep, flawed relationships that sort themselves out along the way, and audiences seem to click with it; the decent-sized theater I saw it in was solid out Saturday night, and a lot of people applauded at the end.

I'm still wrestling over what bothers me so much about the plot, though. There's really no dramatic urgency, and in fact it is unclear how much time even passes during the tale; in one sister's story, weeks seem to be passing, while in the other's months and months and months seem to pass by. The characters' goals are rather modest, and really get sorted out fairly early on.

Still, it worked for me. It's not an example of a real solid script structure, but sharp dialogue, well-crafted scenes and appealing, funny, human, real characters can go a long way, while it's a striking example of what a good director (Curtis Hanson) can do with a script that in other hands could have easily been fluff.


My friend George called me over the weekend, and told me to blog about the fact that all of a sudden there are too many good movies coming out to see everything that one wants to, whereas in the summer it was hard to find anything half-intelligent to go see.

This fall does look better than most, with 2 or 3 intriguing movies coming out pretty much every week. Apparently Cameron Crowe has "Elizabethtown" down to a tight 117 minutes (after cutting about a half-hour from a reportedly-bloated Toronto Film Festival cut), while the more I hear about "Jarhead" the more I want to see it.

So expect grosses to run high in comparison to last year, and the media to report that the film industry is healthy after all. And then next year, when the movies are only average, and run behind this fall, the sky will be tumbling again.


At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Bryan N. said...

I have to agree with your friend. There was really only one movie a month that I just had to see, whereas this fall it's going to be hard to choose. It was good on my wallet but annoying to not be excited for any releases.

At 3:57 PM, Blogger Julie O. said...

Thanks for the review of IN HER SHOES. For ever so many reasons, I'm happy that film turned out well. :)

Giddy with excitement for ELIZABETHTOWN...

At 5:37 AM, Blogger The Gambino Crime Family said...

It should be interesting to see what happens with Jarhead. Come November, is anyone going to want to see a movie about Iraq?

At 7:42 AM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

I think if it was a rah-rah, Rambo-type movie, people might be too cynical now to buy into it.

But Jarhead looks like it strikes the pointed-but-darkly-entertaining tone that just might strike a chord in a certain part of the audience.

Probably won't make $100 million. But I want to see it.

At 6:28 PM, Anonymous Annabel said...

I went to see "In Her Shoes" yesterday. I have to say that I came away from the movie with almost the exact same impression. It was good and it worked, but there were aspects to the plot that could have been better. I also found the amount of time that was passing confusing, because it did seem different for both sisters. I also wish they would have done more with MacLaine's character. All in all, I really enjoyed the movie.

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