Shopgirl

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 62 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 62
  2. Negative: 8 out of 62

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User Reviews

  1. JohnC.
    Oct 31, 2005
    9
    Almost every detail is perfect. The DP's work is astonishing. I probably would drop the voice-over... A wonderful film on every level.
  2. joyf.
    Oct 30, 2005
    9
    Wonderful, true, wise, and real..this is the best movie I've seen in ages!!!!!..A story I felt in my heart..
  3. Art
    Apr 6, 2007
    8
    Danes was transcendent. Martin was simpering, self-conscious, and unappealing -- but that's exactly as his character was *supposed* to be (read the novella!). Maribelle's coworker nearly ruins the mood with a inexplicable gratuitous "predatory blonde" cameo (a seriously slapstick caricature) near the end, but overall I thought this movie succeeded as a Lost in Translation kind Danes was transcendent. Martin was simpering, self-conscious, and unappealing -- but that's exactly as his character was *supposed* to be (read the novella!). Maribelle's coworker nearly ruins the mood with a inexplicable gratuitous "predatory blonde" cameo (a seriously slapstick caricature) near the end, but overall I thought this movie succeeded as a Lost in Translation kind of meditation. Expand
  4. billys.
    Nov 5, 2005
    7
    I really liked this movie. It is a intelligent, indie-quality love story minus all the sugar coating in most romantic comedies. Steve Martin wrote and stars in his best film in years as he seems to be acquiring a Woody Allenesque attitude. I was only surprized that he didn't have "The way we were" over the end credits!
  5. ReiniU.
    Jan 17, 2006
    8
    Finally a non-stereotypical hollywood about a romantic love affair. Slow, very brave, very korean!
  6. KristinP.
    May 29, 2006
    10
    Apart from the beauty of the score and the cinematography, I appreciated the unique take on romace presented in this film. It isn't often in Hollywood that sex is criticized or put in a psychological or philosophical context; this movie refreshingly shows the limitations of sex in bringing happinenss. This movie isn't a romantic comedy and shouldn't be reviewed as such. Apart from the beauty of the score and the cinematography, I appreciated the unique take on romace presented in this film. It isn't often in Hollywood that sex is criticized or put in a psychological or philosophical context; this movie refreshingly shows the limitations of sex in bringing happinenss. This movie isn't a romantic comedy and shouldn't be reviewed as such. Instead, it's a commentary on the complexity of life and love in our day. Expand
  7. Kurt
    Dec 30, 2005
    8
    Throughly enjoyed the movie. Characters were belivible and well acted. Martin's character was excellant study in failing to commit and missing out on life.
  8. WendyT.
    Oct 24, 2005
    9
    This film was not perfect but it is far better than most of the drivel that hass come to the screen lately. In fact, I could have almost sworn I was watching an "Essential". I love movies that so perfectly illustrate human imperfection... Shopgirl did just that in a true Douglas Sirk fashion.
  9. Anyanka
    Oct 28, 2005
    7
    Unexpectedly affecting -- and nothing like the hideous trailer promotes: I'm no fan the whole May-December thing, as a rule. Thanks in part to Danes, Mirabelle comes across much more sympathetically and realistically than she does in the novella. It's the wonderful acting -- "DO, don't SAY" -- which carries this melancholy movie.
  10. SueW.
    Oct 30, 2005
    9
    Shopgirl is a smart comedy at the level of "Lost In Translation". I found it funny, thoughtful, and sad and realistic about relationships today.
  11. ChadShiira
    Oct 14, 2006
    8
    In "Shopgirl", this May/December romance has the added kink of metaphysical incest, but don't let your hyper-awareness(or is it just my hyper-awareness?) about the author dating his own literary creation drive you to distraction. Claire Danes is simply incandescent as Mirabella, an allegedly lonely girl, who is, due to time compression, lonely for all of ten minutes. And then voila, In "Shopgirl", this May/December romance has the added kink of metaphysical incest, but don't let your hyper-awareness(or is it just my hyper-awareness?) about the author dating his own literary creation drive you to distraction. Claire Danes is simply incandescent as Mirabella, an allegedly lonely girl, who is, due to time compression, lonely for all of ten minutes. And then voila, two suitors. Although there are way too many shots of Ray(Steve Martin) in deep thought(we get it, we get it; furrowed eyebrows signifies self-consciousness about class disparity), your heart will break and your heart will soar too, because Martin and Danes, bring it. Expand
  12. KathyS.
    Jan 16, 2006
    8
    Claire Danes gives an excellent performance. Shopgirl is intelligently written and acted, and I found it to be refreshingly understated but never boring, See it with your female and male friends, and it's guaranteed that you will be talking about on the way home.
  13. BrianL.
    Jan 7, 2006
    7
    I liked it, though I did in fact fall completely asleep in the theater before the end.
  14. AndrewT.
    Mar 12, 2006
    10
    An emotionally mature love story: quiet, elegant, really quite beautiful. I lived in LA for 16 years, and the story and acting here ring true. Clare Danes is wonderful.
  15. JustinH.
    Apr 5, 2008
    8
    A very clear look into the workings of real relationships, both the good and the bad. The performances by Martin, Danes, and Shwartzman are terrific, especially since each of their roles are unique and stray from the typical drama or romantic comedy.
  16. CharlieS
    Nov 7, 2005
    9
    It's funny that someone else wrote "Unlikeable the same way 'Lost in Translation,'" because I thought it was great in all the ways that LiT was great. It captures the essence of being in one's twenties. Life is might be funny or ironic or entertaining, but it's often awkward and painful, and once in a great while just beautiful.
  17. Sarah
    Oct 21, 2005
    9
    Great movie and perfect casting! I definitely recommend this for guys and girls.
  18. EDUARDOF.
    Oct 22, 2005
    10
    Perfect, Steve Martin will be nominated for the Best Adapted Screenpley Oscar!!!!
  19. KrisW.
    Oct 24, 2005
    10
    I LOVED this movie. You can feel Steve Martin's love for Mirabelle and for Los Angeles. The score is a beautiful engine moving the story forward. Danes' performance is perfect. I'm completely charmed by the whole thing.
  20. LawrenceL.
    May 15, 2006
    10
    It's a sweet and, dare I say it, tender movie. Very beautiful.
  21. MarkB.
    Nov 21, 2005
    7
    I had my doubts about Claire Danes, but she not only completely overcame all of them--she obliterated them. I walked into screenwriter-star Steve Martin's adaptation of his own witty, sensitive novella about a shy Saks Fifth Avenue clerk looking for love and, more importantly, for her place in the world questioning Danes' casting because I believed that she was too traditionally I had my doubts about Claire Danes, but she not only completely overcame all of them--she obliterated them. I walked into screenwriter-star Steve Martin's adaptation of his own witty, sensitive novella about a shy Saks Fifth Avenue clerk looking for love and, more importantly, for her place in the world questioning Danes' casting because I believed that she was too traditionally pretty to meet the role's demands; I thought a plainer or at least less conventionally attractive actress would've been a much more appropriate choice. But as it turns out, the character of Mirabelle fits Danes...well, like a glove. She not only captures the shopgirl's loneliness, ungainliness (more imagined than real) and slight but palpable sense of social displacement beautifully and without a single false move, but in doing so gives what is truly one of the 3 or 4 best performances of 2005. (This even extends to Danes' nude scene: when she presents herself to the man she thinks she's in love with, she does so with such unabashed vulnerability that it makes you ache...and not in the usual sense.) As for Martin,who plays Mirabelle's wealthy, cultured,emotionally detached (or so he thinks) and indecisive lover Ray, he once again shows us a brand new side of his talents. I've always really admired Martin's eagerness to try completely new challenges and to reinvent himself--he interspersed his silly, Carl Reiner-directed farces like The Jerk and Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid with the dark, challenging Depression-era musical Pennies From Heaven, and thankfully he's giving us a momentary break from such forgettable, machine-tooled fare as Bringing Down the House and Cheaper by the Dozen with a rich, mulitlayered characterization. Danes and Martin make Shopgirl well worth seeing, as do some wonderfully well-observed touches from director Anand Tucker: I loved Ray's reaction to the futon that apartment-dweller Mirabelle uses as a living room couch, and the way that Ray DOESN'T watch Mirabelle try on the expensive, form-fitted dress he bought for her. However, Shopgirl also contains two potentially fatal elements that almost kill the deal. One is Jason Schwartzman's characterization of semi-slacker Jeremy, a guy Mirabelle briefly dates before discovering Ray; nothing wrong with Schwartzman (Rushmore) himself, who as an actor does what he's asked here, but the character is so unbelievably gauche and irritating that it snaps any sense of credulity that even someone as insecure as Mirabelle would ever show any interest in him, however faint, and even an eleventh-hour attempt at self-improvement doesn't help. (Remember this year's earlier romantic comedy/spoof The Baxter, which focused on the "other guy" in a triangle--the one who's not the male lead? Well, Jeremy doesn't even qualify as a baxter--a melvin would be more like it!) The other major liability is Barrington Pheloung's string-and-piano-heavy score, which is the most oppressive, nakedly manipulative musical assault on a movie audience's emotions since the normally capable Marc Shaiman's sledgehammer job in Patch Adams seven years ago. Pheloung strains mightily to sell us on the pathos of Mirabelle's situation, but since Danes is doing such a fine and admirable job of communicating it all by herself with no need of unsolicited help from the orchestra pit, his efforts are an insult both to the integrity of Danes' work and to our intelligence. Expand
  22. harryh.
    Dec 29, 2005
    8
    A mature, witty, and poignant look at relationships and people's need to love and be loved. This film really works for you if you have been one of these people or have known them. It might seem difficult to pass of as plausible the May December relationship and the mature, honest, but emotionally detached rich seeking the sexual relationship with the smart but naive 23 year old but A mature, witty, and poignant look at relationships and people's need to love and be loved. This film really works for you if you have been one of these people or have known them. It might seem difficult to pass of as plausible the May December relationship and the mature, honest, but emotionally detached rich seeking the sexual relationship with the smart but naive 23 year old but getting sucked in before he knows it. This really worked for me and I was happy to see Martin bring it out. However, I wonder how autobiographical it is. Expand
  23. Dec 11, 2012
    7
    Claire Danes is lovely. Beautiful cinematography and soundtrack. The voiceover, however, is redundant and a major drag in an otherwise enjoyable film.
  24. Jun 6, 2014
    7
    Unusually 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
    Unusually 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.
    Expand
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 37
  2. Negative: 2 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    75
    Where "Elizabethtown" pretends to have the meaning of life, Shopgirl hones in on a few telling details, then allows audiences to fill in the rest.
  2. A glum meditation on isolation and romantic malaise.
  3. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    40
    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.