Sisters. Can't live with 'em. Can't live without 'em.
And there you have the thesis for Curtis Hanson's latest movie starring Cameron Diaz as the trampy wreck of a sister, Maggie, and Toni Collette as the frumpy (by Hollywood standards) goody-two-shoes of a sister, Rose, who alternately suffer each other and, with the help of a long-lost grandmother played by Shirley MacLaine, recognize their abiding love and need for each other.
I see you sitting there, taking out the box labeled "chick flick," poised to toss this one in. But before you do that, remember that Hanson's most recent movies include 8 Mile, Wonder Boys, and LA Confidential. Add producer Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Kingdom of Heaven) to the mix, and it's not the kind of pedigree one would expect to produce an estrogen-driven hug-fest. And indeed, while the story is about relationships between women, the narrative is a study of family dynamics that's worthy of attention whether you're a chick into flicks or not.
The story, based on a best-selling novel of the same name by Jennifer Weiner, explores a messy time in the relationship between Maggie and Rose, two sisters with very different, but equally unsatisfying, lives with nothing in common—except their shoe size. In the opening sequence, their personalities are juxtaposed via their sex lives as Maggie has a tryst in a bathroom stall with a guy whose name she doesn't quite remember and Rose sleeps with her boss and dreams of marriage. Their evenings collide when Maggie gets drunk and Rose is called to chauffeur her home. As Rose says, having a man in her bed is unusual—bailing out her little sister, drunk or otherwise in need of help, is not.
Thanks to a wickedly annoying stepmother, Maggie ...1
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In Her Shoes
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