Shopgirl (2005)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BB

USA, 2005.  Touchstone Pictures, Hyde Park Entertainment, Brass Hat Films Slate 1 Shopgirl.  Screenplay by , based on his novel.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , Steve Martin.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by

plays a struggling visual artist in Los Angeles who works a boring job in the glove department at Saks Fifth Avenue and spends the rest of her time dripping with loneliness. This all changes when an amplifier salesman () falls madly in love with her and takes her out on the most awkward first date of all time, immediately followed by intense interest from a millionaire logician () with whom she becomes seriously involved. As time passes, she begins to suspect that she’s more of a selfish indulgence for Martin and not a serious prospect. Anand Tucker’s film, written by Steve Martin from his own novella, is beautifully shot and elegantly composed, full of lovely sets and actors placed in tasteful tableaux, but it has absolutely no energy. Danes couldn’t be lovelier, or seem more comfortable, but her character is so passive that watching her flop from one situation to another soon becomes really annoying. It’s always wonderful when a sequence is drawn out and beautifully scored like the closing climax of a beautiful romantic melodrama, but it isn’t so great when every scene is shot this way from beginning to end. Schwartzman is adorable as the quirky guy that you hate to love (his niche, as it turns out), but his side story as a roadie with a rock band sticks out like a sore thumb and only bogs the film down more.

Toronto International Film Festival:  2005

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