Based on Steve Martin's best-selling novella, and starring Golden Globe(R) winner Claire Danes (Best Actress In A TV Series, MY SO-CALLED LIFE, 1994), Golden Globe(R) nominee Steve Martin (Best Actor In A Motion Picture --... more » Comedy/Musical, FATHER OF THE BRIDE PART II, 1995), and Jason Schwartzman (BEWITCHED), SHOPGIRL is a disarmingly funny love story. Mirabelle, brilliantly played by Danes, is an aspiring artist working behind the glove counter at a Beverly Hills department store when she meets two very different men -- Jeremy (Schwartzman), a socially inept guy who doesn't seem to be going anywhere, and Ray (Martin) a wealthy entrepreneur who has the world at his feet. Filled with the mixed signals and missteps of a modern romance, SHOPGIRL is a fresh and witty, warm, and funny romantic comedy you can't help but fall in love with.« less
Jerry S. from OCEANSIDE, CA Reviewed on 9/29/2014...
This was one of the most enjoyable movies we've watched.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Tina M. from SALEM, IN Reviewed on 6/9/2011...
i found this movie very dissappointing. slow starting out and it really didn't get better til the end.
1 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Gerald R. from RACINE, WI Reviewed on 9/29/2010...
I believe this movie is underrated. It is well worth watching. Not Shakespeare, but way better than most of what is out there.
The story line is interesting and the production good. This is a modern romantic morality tale.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
It Goes as it Goes
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 11/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Contemplative, serene and very very quiet, "Shopgirl"manages to makes its points through the piling up of many small, muted gestures and kabuki-like scenes. Mirabelle (Claire Danes in a subtle, ingratiating performance) is lonely and her job as a Saks 5th Avenue salesgirl affords her no opportunity to meet anyone...that is until she meets super-rich Ray Porter (Steve Martin) and at the same time super-poor, Jeremy ( a manic Jason Schwartzman). Like the novella on which it is based, "Shopgirl" offers up a simple triangle of three lost souls looking for a mate: Mirabelle, the dreamer without the wherewithal emotionally or socially to do much about pursuing her dreams, Ray: filthy-rich, worldly...who sees what he wants in Mirabelle and easily gathers up her bony, rail thin soul in his arms and Jeremy: bright, ambitious, socially and physically inept bursting with big love and big feelings who targets Mirabelle as the receptacle for all of his stuff. All of this ends on a bittersweet note: neither tragic nor heart-poundingly upbeat. But like Life outside of the Movies: it goes like that sometimes. "
Coming of love
Britta Schellenberg | Providence, RI | 08/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Let me start of by saying that I loved this movie. I loved it for the simpleness in which this story is presented. I loved it for its acting, the wonderful portrayal of interesting characters by three wonderful actors. I loved it for its unassuming telling of a what I like to coin a "coming of love" story. I loved it for its character development and for the way humor is interweaved.
This is the story of Mirabelle, portrayed by Claire Daines, a twenty-something girl from Vermont that is living in L.A. and works as a shop girl in a famous department store. Each night, Mirabelle comes home to her plain second story apartment, calling for her cat Sylvia that continously hides from her. Mirabelle's life is as simple as her wishes. She is not out for fame or fortune, but rather is looking to be recognized as a person who is valuable, has something to offer and should be loved for all the right reasons. When Mirabelle meets Jeremy, a scruffy artist that is awkward and socially inept, she gets involved with him because "sometimes women just want to be held", as she hears on a radio talk show. But there is no romance with Jeremy and when Ray Porter, an older rich man offers her roses, dinners and polite conversations, Mirabelle is soon swept up by his gentlemanly behavior. While Ray can offer her all the things that young girls dream off - beautiful dresses, quiet dinners by candle lights, weekend trips to NYC - he also remains emotionally distant. The viewer watches Mirabelle get involved with both men, learning not only about herself and what is important to her, but also about life's and love's complications.
While the story centers around Mirabelle, both Ray and Jeremy are also very well developed as characters. Ray, portrayed by Steve Martin, is a man who does not allow himself to open up emotionally and eventually recognizes that he may have missed out on love all together. Jeremy, portrayed by Jason Schwartzman, comes to recognize that there is much more to be found in a partner than just a body for sexual adventures. The one criticism I have is around Martin's secondary role as the omnipresent narrator of the story. His background narration seems out of place and is often not needed, as the story is so well portrayed by the characters themselves.
In the end, this is a story with characters that the viewer can relate to in one way or another. It is not a story of finding the ideal partner in life, but rather about recognizing that life, love and relationships are complicated. This is not your typical Hollywood love story and don't expect a fabulously idealized romantic ending. What this movie does very well, though, is to portray a very realistic portrayal of what actually happens in relationships and how people cope with breakups, dates and life itself."
Surprisingly moving and funny
Z. Freeman | Austin, TX | 12/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Based on the novella of the same name by Steve Martin, this deeply moving, sometimes funny film feels like a glimpse into reality for movie watchers. Here we have characters that are truly affected by what takes place around them. That have real emotions and react to real situations. What results is a slowly-unfolding story of love, lust, and how humans deal with it all.
Claire Daines plays a 20-something who moved from Vermont to LA to make a name for herself as an artist. She starts dating a young slacker (Jascon Schwartzman) and soon after also starts dating an older entrepreneur (Steve Martin). Each time she goes on a date with Martin we see the awkwardness that results in an older man pursuing a (much) younger woman. But it's never played off for simple laughs. It is shown to us in a very realistic honest way.
Although the film could be classified as a romantic comedy, or a dark comedy, or a light drama... or something along those lines, I don't think it really falls into any of those categories. It's more the story of a young woman finding her way in life. Claire Danes is remarkable, and so are Martin and Schwartzman. The acting in this film really help set the mood, as does the lighting, and cinematography. It really feels like this film was put together very carefully for our viewing pleasure."
Flawed, but worth a watch...
Angela D. Mitchell | Hobbiton | 12/21/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'm such a fan of all the people associated with this, and even though it disappointed me, I think it's worth seeing. For me,it's one of those lovely flawed little movies you catch at 3 a.m., thinking, "hmm, not bad... could've been even more..."
It's a good movie, overall. A solid "worth seeing." Claire Danes is lovely and luminous and just wonderful. Martin is OK as the suitor. Schwartzman is pretty much terrible despite almost saving things in the last 10 minutes. I did actually like the irony of Martin as narrator -- hey, the guy is detached, it's his defining quality, so I loved his "narrating" events as we saw them with an ironic sensitivity the character himself was lacking.
On the negative side, I have to say that I felt that Steve Martin (while his book was a slight, lovely treasure) may have not been exactly the right choice for the film's Ray. He is so aloof it's hard to gauge his feelings from afar, much less for poor clueless Mirabelle. He's like an icecube. Yet I still bought the relationship and liked his character (he's very interesting and bizarrely realistic).
But speaking of realism (or not)... My main problem with the film is with Schwartzman's character, who is not just "clueless," he is basically autistic or was raised by wolves or monkeys or something. The guy is gross, unkempt, cannot even go on a decent date with Mirabelle without embarrassing or mooching off her. He's a skit unto himself. He's embarrassingly crass and seems to have no idea of the beauty or coolness of Mirabelle in any way. A few rock self-help tapes later are supposed to transform him into a prince, but I don't buy it for a second. Even in the best of times with Mirabelle, I simply hoped that this guy had learned enough to shower.
I liked Martin's novella, and love his other work (and adored "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" and "The Pleasure of my Company"). But my problem wasn't with Ray... we see his hollowness, his loneliness (affecting because he has no idea it exists), etc., throughout. I loved the scenes where he cared for Mirabelle beyond sex, the ways we saw he loved her without being able to articulate it.
But for Schwartzman's gross stupid comedy relief guy to have any chance at being the prince, the movie needed a major rewrite.
Worth seeing but prepare for an overly-intrusive score, and for a somewhat detached and slow (if often lovely) movie experience."
Lonely and looking for love in Los Angeles...
M. J Leonard | Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA United States | 04/26/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Shop Girl is such an "LA" film. Not only is it set in Los Angeles, but the film also evokes the city's very unique sensibility. Based on Steve Martin's best-selling novella, Shop Girl is all about big city isolation and loneliness and looking for love in all the wrong places. Working from a script by Martin, director Anand Tucker has made a quiet, delicate and nuanced film, featuring some fine performances from its three very appealing leads.
Claire Danes plays Mirabelle, a beautiful, dreamy and messed-up artistic young woman who sells gloves for evening wear at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills and lives in a quaint apartment in the suburb of Silver Lake (just down the street from where we live!).
Lately, Mirabelle has been having a hard time of it - her student loans have been piling up, and she's been suffering from bouts of depression; it's as though she's been spending all her time in Los Angeles just waiting for something to happen, her situation endemic of the routine isolation experienced by women who drive to and from their solitary apartments, perhaps hoping someone eventually will offer them love.
One night at the local launderette she meets the emotionally immature and unkempt Jeremy (Jason Schwartzman). Jeremy is your typical Silver Lake urban grunge, who earns his living decorating amplifiers for rock bands and lives like a pig. He's far too unsophisticated for the lovely Mirabelle, yet they are both artists and the same age so a connection gradually develops.
However, it is the older and far wealthier Ray Porter (Steve Martin) that really beguiles Mirabelle. Ray takes an instant liking to her when he purchases a pair of gloves. Ray is so much more appealing. A dot-com millionaire with mansions in L.A. and Seattle, a private jet and enough money to make a girl feel like Cinderella every night, he's made Mirabelle the envy of all the other girls at Saks Fifth Avenue, especially vamp Lisa (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras). Ray steadily showers Mirabelle with gifts whilst, making it perfectly clear that this is a casual relationship.
The stage is set for a love triangle, with the sensitive and easily hurt Mirabelle, facing some harsh decisions about who to love. Obviously, Jeremy is not right for Mirabelle the way he is; he's ambitionless and cheap, and a bit of a dummy. Only through reinventing himself will Jeremy ever have any hope of obtaining Mirabelle's love. Ray may be rich, but he's also rather cold, and insensitive to Mirabelle's feelings - most importantly he remains non-committal.
But are Jeremy and Ray really that different? Mirabelle must learn to make love the basis, and assess how well each man gives it as well as receive it. She's an intelligent, perceptive and intuitive girl, who knows what she's getting into, but she finds herself getting caught up in a situation that she's just not able to emotionally handle.
Whilst the plot is a bit lightweight and feathery, the movie is mostly buoyed by the performances of Danes, Schwartzman and Martin - who is very good at playing against his comedic type. Danes beautifully captures the affecting, fragile inner quality of Mirabelle's life. It's a brilliantly understated performance that never resorts to histrionics or mawkishness. She gives her heart even when it is broken but never pleads for our sympathy.
Martin plays Ray Porter with a calm coldness and he's obviously a successful businessman who seems to have sufficient funds to do whatever he wants. But he's also lonely and bored and somewhat shut down emotionally; Ray knows Mirabelle's isolated. He's able to spend money on her, but never in ways that feel tawdry and you never get the feeling that he's just being a "sugar daddy" - there's real love and affection there.
And then there's the marvelous Jason Schwartzman as Jeremy. He's a sweet and kind young man, but he has no idea how to seduce a woman and it is only by going on a kind of spiritual road trip that he can learn how to elevate himself to Mirabelle's stature. The film does have it's faults - the soundtrack is a little heavy-handed, and Tucker lays the sentiment and pathos on when he doesn't really need to, but the movie is always compelling and we get to the see the lovely Claire Danes shimmer vintage dresses and high heel shoes, she also drives a pick-up truck and puts on glasses.
For local viewers, Shop Girl provides some great scenes set in and around the funky Silver Lake and there are also the dreamy and poetic views of the City of Angels to admire. Cinematographer Peter Suschitzky infuses his camera work with a deep sense of longing, as though Mirabelle's tale is just one of the many stories beneath the swaying palms and roaring expressways of people who just want to be loved. Mike Leonard April 06. "