Shopgirl

Shopgirl Image
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 62 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Based on Steve Martin's bestselling novella, Shopgirl is a funny and poignant story of love in the modern age. The film catches a glimpse inside the lives of three very different people on diverse paths, but all in search of the same thing. [Touchstone Pictures]

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 37
  2. Negative: 2 out of 37
  1. A film of wisdom, emotional subtlety and power.
  2. 80
    Elegant and exquisitely tailored.
  3. Martin's script offers plenty of opportunities, but Martin the actor never takes advantage of them.
  4. It's smart, spare, elegant and understated.
  5. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    Still manages to be a Steve Martin vanity project in ways that are fairly creepy.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    60
    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.
  7. 30
    There's so little sexual chemistry between the actors in this film that it seems like a kind of accomplishment. I've seen shows on C-SPAN that were hotter than this.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 42
  2. Negative: 8 out of 42
  1. 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 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
  2. Sarah
    Oct 21, 2005
    9
    Great movie and perfect casting! I definitely recommend this for guys and girls.
  3. 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 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. Collapse
  4. 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 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
  5. JeanneC.
    Nov 13, 2005
    6
    I was disappointed. Mirabelle is more like a fragile china doll who has not found her inner voice. Neither Steve Martin nor the younger actor I was disappointed. Mirabelle is more like a fragile china doll who has not found her inner voice. Neither Steve Martin nor the younger actor playing Jeremy do anything to facilitate the journey that Mirabelle seems to somehow (off-screen?) have taken by the end. I did not read the book, but it sure seems to be a uniquely male view of a fantasy girl friend. Expand
  6. AMovieCritic
    Aug 6, 2007
    4
    Steve Martin's one of my favorite comedic actors, so I was interested in seeing this serious work from him, which seemed to resemble one Steve Martin's one of my favorite comedic actors, so I was interested in seeing this serious work from him, which seemed to resemble one of my favorite movies, Lost in Translation. Unfortunately...this movie really didn't cut it. There's no chemistry here whatsoever, and while it was deliberate and part of the story, it didn't necessarily make for a compelling movie. Overall, it's an interesting movie and it had some nice ideas and was actually pretty realistic, yet it just didn't really do anything for me. It was more of a chick flick. It should have been both more romantic and more funny, and it was neither. And ugh....that musical score was COMPLETELY awful. Talk about overdone. They should have went with a more subdued and atmospheric effort like Lost in Translation, instead, it feels like a full symphony orchestra's following these characters around......ugh. Expand
  7. WilliamC.
    Dec 31, 2005
    0
    Slow, dull, pointless, plotless.

See all 42 User Reviews

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