Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 37
  2. Negative: 2 out of 37

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Critic Reviews

  1. One of the most schizoid films in recent memory. It opens with crystalline originality, a shimmering comedy with meticulous timing and sharply drawn characters. Then it careens carelessly into syrup. How could he (Martin) not have noticed?
  2. 60
    It's enjoyable and visually impressive, but this is a slender trifle of a film, one which charms you as you're watching it and then is all too quickly forgotten.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    Martin hits all the right notes while subtly conveying both the appealing sophistication and the purposeful reserve of Ray. But he cannot entirely avoid being overshadowed by Dane's endearingly vulnerable, emotionally multifaceted and fearlessly open performance.
  4. 60
    Unfolds as a series of slightly disjointed vignettes, padded with redundant voiceover and an oppressively histrionic score.
  5. Without the saving grace of comedy, Martin's natural abrasiveness is off-putting, and he just doesn't have the stuff of a romantic lead.
  6. A glum meditation on isolation and romantic malaise.
  7. You keep expecting Shopgirl to get funny or sad or poignant; it never does. It just starts, then it's over.
  8. 50
    Where the book was preciously and carefully crafted, the movie just feels precious.
  9. Danes' smart, fun, radiant and very attractive Mirabelle actually undermines the premise of the book
  10. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    In any case, the best performance is by Bridgette Wilson-Sampras as the conniving but peppy slut at the perfume counter. Her big scene--farcical, filthy, surprising--is also the best in the movie. Otherwise, Shopgirl is sadly vacuous, with a sadly vacuous center.
  11. 40
    A romantic comedy with precious little romance and even less comedy.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 61 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 41
  2. Negative: 8 out of 41
  1. BenH.
    Jul 30, 2006
    Horrible movie. It was slow, pointless, and boring. How many times do I need to see Claire Dane's character shave her legs in this Horrible movie. It was slow, pointless, and boring. How many times do I need to see Claire Dane's character shave her legs in this movie? I was confused watching the movie and I am still confused how anyone in their right mind could have enjoyed it. Wow. Honestly, I can say this is the worst movie I have ever seen in my whole life. Avoid it all costs. I still can't even believe I wasted my time on this crap. Full Review »
  2. Jun 6, 2014
    Unusually sweet movie about lonely people adrift in LA. Also a proof that a “romantic” comedy does not have to be yet another boringUnusually sweet movie about lonely people adrift in LA. Also a proof that a “romantic” comedy does not have to be yet another boring chick-flick. Mirabelle is a girl, working at the gloves counter of a department store. She does not have much to do, since gloves are not much in demand. In her spare time she draws in Edward Hopper’s style.

    At the laundry, she meets James, a young aimless slob. They have an awkward date and sex, mostly due to lack of social and emotional intelligence than to personal flaws.

    Then Mirabelle starts to be “courted” by Ray, an elderly, rich gentleman, equally unable to connect emotionally, but very much skilled in old-fashioned gallantry. The two embark in a sexual relationship which in Ray’s mind will never turn into “commitment”.

    Although Mirabelle enjoys the obvious perks of dating a rich, kind man, she starts longing for emotional fulfillment. In the meantime James leaves LA to be a roadie of some sort and while travelling with a rock band, he gets some self-help books about relationships.

    When James comes back to town, sort of mature by his experience, the Mirabelle/Ray relation has reached stalemate. Reluctant to give up on Ray, Mirabelle fells into a depression, probably triggered by her unspoken needs. Eventually Ray breaks it off, setting in motion a more assertive Mirabelle, who finally decides to quit her boring job.

    The two meet some time after the break-up. Mirabelle is working in an art gallery showing some of her work. She and James are now happily together, while Ray is visiting the exhibition with another “girlfriend” of some sort. Mirabelle and Ray have a short private conversation during which he admits of having loved her, but that does not matter anymore to Mirabelle.

    I really enjoyed the simple storyline and the interpretation of the three main characters.
    Full Review »
  3. Dec 11, 2012
    Claire Danes is lovely. Beautiful cinematography and soundtrack. The voiceover, however, is redundant and a major drag in an otherwise enjoyable film.