Shopgirl (DVD Review)19 Mar, 2006 By: Brendan Howard
Prebook 3/14/06; Street 4/25/06
Box Office $10 million
Rated ‘R' for some sexual content and brief language.
Stars Steve Martin, Claire Danes, Jason Schwartzman.
Written by and starring Steve Martin, 1991's L.A. Story and 2005's Shopgirl are like bookends in a tale about how the anonymity of a big city can bring people together or keep them apart.
L.A. Story finds Martin as a thirtysomething weatherman who seeks sexual fun with a twentysomething woman (Sarah Jessica Parker), but finds love with a beautiful British woman his own age who wrestles with the strangeness of Southern California. The weird world of Hollywood pretensions, half-caf double lattes and road signs that give love advice made for a touching love story.
In Shopgirl, Martin is fortysomething businessman Ray Porter, who has a sexual relationship with new transplant and Saks Fifth Avenue clerk Mirabelle, played by the much-younger Danes. Los Angeles is difficult for the artistic wallflower Mirabelle, who crosses paths with someone her own age, Jeremy (played quirky and honest by Schwartzman). Despite their mutual attraction, Porter never grows up enough to realize true love for Mirabelle until it's too late. She finds happiness with Jeremy, who comes back from a soul-searching time on the road with a rock band and lots of relationship books-on-tape.
Shopgirl, then, is the tale of a May-October romance that might have been, but the two people aren't the right people in the right place at the right time.
Martin's two films show that Los Angeles is a place where dreams can come true, but only under the right conditions.
Selling Points: Martin, Danes and Schwartzman are draws. This one mixes love and pain, making it a winner for romantics as well as cynics.
What's on DVD?
• Director's commentary
• Two deleted scenes
• Making-of featurette