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Starring Claire Danes, Jason Schwartzman and Steve Martin; Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, Frances Conry, Sam Bottoms, Rebecca Pidgeon
Screenplay by Steve Martin, based on his novella
Directed by Anand Tucker

IN SHORT: Steve Martin writes a chick flick. [Rated R for some sexual content and brief language. 104 minutes]

We should have seen it coming back when Steve Martin adapted Cyrano de Bergerac as Roxanne, Martin's got a romantic streak a mile wide -- still not as wide as the breadth of his comedic talent but there nonetheless. Our reaction to Shopgirl got us a punch in the arm by a femme critic friend, which is bruising as we write. Still, a well written romance is something that will appeal to at least half of the viewing audience, and well written Shopgirl is, indeed. With only one solid laugh in the film -- Martin's fame as a comedian is also somewhat of an albatross when it comes to anything else -- any dating male can wait for either of the title femmes to get down and dirty.

C'mon ladies, you don't really want to see Steve Martin naked do you? Jason Schwartzman, maybe (Cranky don't swing that way). Gents get Claire Danes in the buff and Bridgette Wilson-Sampras in lingerie to keep ' em otherwise occupied and that dispenses with the non-story stuff. Enough of the gutter thinking, on to the guts of the piece . . .

Shopgirl is really about Mirabelle (Claire Danes) and Jeremy (Jason Schwartzman), she a counter clerk selling gloves at Saks FIfth Avenue of LA, he a logo designer for a rock 'n' roll amplifier maker. They meet in a laundromat and, for want of anything of more interest in her life, eventually fall into bed. We should point out that Mirabelle is pretty much stymied by shyness and really is more interested in a career as an artist. Jeremy is a borderline rock 'n' roll pig. Lucky for him, he gets a job on the road with a band and has lots of travel time to read books on how to "be a better man" and "manage his relationships". She, on the other hand, falls into a hot and heavy dalliance with Ray Porter (Steve Martin), a wealthy computer consultant who just happens to be old enough to be her father. Probably. Mirabelle thinks it could be the real deal. Ray thought he was being being clear about his end of the deal.

If you can't figure out what that last line means, you're too young for this flick. Lisa Cramer (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras), who also works at Saks, has other ideas when she hears of Mirabelle's lucky snag of a rich old man, which is why we made the crack about lingerie, above.

Truthfully? We're filling space. klllklj is a classic example of what we've always defined as a dateflick -- a film that will delight one half of a couple but leave the other restless. And that's exactly what we were.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Shopgirl, he would have paid . . .


Our standard dateflick rating.

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