Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, Richard Burgi, Mark Feuerstein, Candice Azzara, Ken Howard and Shirley MacLaine

Curtis Hanson

Running Time:
130 mins

Out to buy on 13/03/06

"I've got better things to do than picking up my drunk sister from a party"


Even though they were sisters, all Maggie (Diaz) and Rose (Collette) have in common was their shoe size. While Rose is a prominent lawyer at a prestigious law firm but has absolutely no luck with men, Maggie just costs through life from one no hope job to another but she never had any problem attracting the opposite sex. Even though they might be completely different, they are still best friends as well as sister but this all changes when Maggie does something almost unforgivable.

Director Curtis Hanson continues to produce a varied body of work but after stories about rappers, writers and police officers can he bring the same inventiveness to a story of sibling rivalry?

What makes Curtis Hanson's movies so watchable is that his films are always filled with strong characters. 'In her Shoes' is no different. Based on the novel by Jennifer Weiner, the heart of the movie are two extremely strong and well-developed female leads. The two protagonists are very different, each seeing life in very different ways but together they make a whole. Rose is the more intelligent of the two. A successful lawyer who has just started a tempestuous affair with her boss, against her better judgement, she thinks that men never really take an interest in her. Maggie is the complete opposite. Her main talent is her beauty and she has played upon that all her life. She has never had a job for more than a few months and has always struggled with basic English and maths but her looks have always got her by. They have been as thick as thieves for all of their lives together but they are slowly coming apart.

Bringing these interesting characters to life are two exceptional performances from two of Hollywood's finest. Cameron Diaz is known more for her beauty and amazing figure than her acting skills but when a director takes a chance on her she reveals a side to her talents that only need to be woken to shine through. Watch 'Being John Malkovich', 'Gangs of New York' and 'Vanilla Sky' and you will she there is more to her than just good looks. As Maggie she reveals a more tender and vulnerable side to her acting as the character realises that her life might just be a complete disaster. This is another important role for Diaz as she tries to push her career further than her looks.

Toni Collette has always been a character actress worth watching and as Rose she proves this again. This is a character that gives her the chance to grow with both confidence and beauty. While Rose might think of herself as someone men just don't notice, as her confidence grows the character really become a different person as she lets the world and love in. The role proves again that Toni Collette is an extremely talented actress and one that deserves more plaudits that she gets.

Joining the two leads is a performance from a Hollywood legend that steals every scene that she is in, the incomparable Shirley MacLaine. As Ella Hirsch, Rose and Maggie's long lost grandmother, she brings an element of class to the proceeding as the character grows along with her younger granddaughters.

'In her Shoes' proves again that Curtis Hanson is one of the most diverse directors working in the business. What makes the film so memorable are the characters and the drive of the story. While it may be slightly overlong with some unnecessary side-plots such as Maggie's difficulties with reading and maths that is never really explained, it is the believable performances and the intelligence of the screenplay. Yes this is still a 'chick-flick' but it is far above anything Hollywood has produced for a very long time.


Presented in Widescreen 2.35:1 Anamorphic with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, the transfer is good.


The People in the Shoes Featurette (15.31 mins)
Director Curtis Hanson, producer Carol Fenelon, author Jennifer Weiner, screenwriter Susannah Grant and stars Cameron Diaz, Toni Colette, Shirley MacLaine and Mark Feuerstein talk about bringing the contempory story to the silver screen. The process of transferring the novel to the screen is discussed, highlighting the relatable characters of the piece and the realism of the story. The dynamic between Rose and Maggie is also talked about with the sibling rivalry and personalities of the sisters been highlighted. This is a very good featurette that strays from the usual backslapping and pandering that usually accompany DVD releases. Instead we have an intelligent look at the making of the film and the adaptation of the book.

A Retirement Community for Acting Seniors (10.36 mins)
Star Cameron Diaz is joined by the real seniors from the retirement community were the movie was filmed. Playing parts in the movie, the group regale us with behind the scenes secrets and chat from behind the scenes as they talk about their roles in the film.

From Death Row to Red Carpet: The casting of Honey Bun (7.21 mins)
Director Curtis Hanson, producer Carol Fenelon and animal trainer Steve McAuliff talk about their long and exhaustive search to find the right Pug-Mutt to play the part of 'Honey Bun' in the movie. We see the training and bonding with the actors that former shelter dog that to do and how happy he now is with his new owner.

Inside Look (1.58 mins)
Take a look behind the scenes of Lindsay Lohan's new movie 'Just my Luck'

Previews of 'Mrs Henderson Presents…', 'Walk the Line', 'Shop Girl' and 'The Family Stone'


For such a good film and a Fox release, the DVD package for 'In Her Shoes' is slightly lacking. While the making of… featurette is very good, the lack of a commentary track seems like a missed opportunity, especially as this is a story about sisters so Cameron Diaz and Toni Colette could have really added to the value of the disc.


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