In Her Shoes DVD: Review By Courtney O.

This movie encompasses all the things a movie should: wit, comedy, emotion, realness, and a great heartwarming story.
  • OVERALL
    4.0
    GREAT
  • Feature
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE GOOD
This movie encompasses all the things a movie should: wit, comedy, emotion, realness, and a great heartwarming story.
THE BAD
The film divides itself in half, whereas it could have bridged those two parts a little bit better.
THE FEATURE
From the looks of In Her Shoes, I did not have the highest of expectations for the film. Yes, even me. Honestly, I was just looking for enough entertainment to spend a chilly evening under the covers and call it a night. What I didn't expect was for the film to make me think so much about it afterwards, a film with real human characters, with real authentic storytelling, and with a truly touching storyline that recalls the power of film to be a transformational vehicle, and not just a waste of one's time and dollar.

In Her Shoes tells the story of two very different sisters-one is a responsible lawyer whose brains dominate, one is a sexy, jobless bimbo whose body dominates. Naturally there are some complications. It takes about half the movie before Toni Collette's Rose kicks Cameron Diaz's Maggie off her sofa, who then takes a train to a grandmother she happened upon through boxed up, and never before read, birthday cards. What's refreshing, is the film spends a lot of time with character development, really carving out these sisters, whereas a lot of films usually skip this type of care and jump right into a conflict that isn't all too believable.

Their grandma, Shirley MacLaine's Ella, is the quiet, tough loving grandmother the girls never had. The movie then gains another level of meaning as we watch Maggie, the hotsy pot, finally having to grow up a bit without the sturdy, and yet taunting arm of her much more successful sister. Likewise, Rose has her own breakthrough, as she realizes there's some excitement outside of the office, and learns to let someone love her for who she is, rather than who she isn't.

The film, as Director Curtis Hanson (8 Mile, Wonder Boys, L.A. Confidential) said in one of the special features, is about change. It's about the transformations that occur in a person's life that make them who they are, as well as challenge who they are. The film really brings to mind friendships and relationships, that age and race and blood relations don't matter-it's how much you're willing to give and receive that is the sign of true friends.
THE EXTRAS
"The People in the Shoes" is a discussion with Director Curtis Hanson about the ideas behind making the movie, discussing artistic decisions for the look and feel of the film, as well as the symbolic representation of ideas that describe the characters on a more organic level. If the shoe fits...

"A Retirement Community for Acting Seniors" is a charming series of interviews with the active seniors that participated as actors and background actors in the film. They had a blast and now know firsthand a scene is not just a scene.

"From Death Row to the Red Carpet: The Casting of Honeybun" is also very endearing as it describes through interviews with Curtis Hanson and Susannah Grant the selection process for the dog Honeybun. Straight from a shelter, Hamlet, a.k.a. Honeybun, was trained for such parts as peeing in the snow and looking concerned when Maggie was packing her bags. Good job Hamlet! A must see for animal lovers.
THE VIDEO
Presented in anamorphic widescreen ratio 2.35:1. The picture quality is very sharp and clear.
THE AUDIO
Presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. Subtitled in English and Spanish. Music composed by Mark Isham. The sound is very crisp, and the soundtrack is perfect for the film.
THE PACKAGE
The cover of the DVD features rivaling sisters Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette sharing a sofa with their dog, Honeybun. Shirley MacLaine is in the background smiling knowingly. The single image captures the basic dilemma in the film, with Cameron looking seductive; Toni looking annoyed; the dog looking cute; and Shirley keeping watch. Smaller images on the backside of the package capture different moments in the film.
THE FINAL WORD
This movie was just such a surprise; like someone stopping by unexpected with fresh brewed coffee and coffeecake. Really a treat! It's not a cookie-cutter-everyone-loves-each-other-all-the-time kind of tale-it's real, it has issues, it has problems and challenges, and it has people dealing with them. It's just a great story. And it's funny! Ask my wall-sharing neighbors!

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