6.4/10
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274 user 124 critic

Shopgirl (2005)

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A film adaptation of Steve Martin's novel about a complex love triangle between a bored salesgirl, a wealthy businessman and an aimless young man.

Director:

Anand Tucker

Writers:

Steve Martin (novel), Steve Martin (screenplay)
1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Martin ... Ray Porter
Claire Danes ... Mirabelle
Jason Schwartzman ... Jeremy
Bridgette Wilson-Sampras ... Lisa Cramer
Sam Bottoms ... Dan Buttersfield
Frances Conroy ... Catherine Buttersfield
Rebecca Pidgeon ... Christie Richards
Samantha Shelton ... Loki
Gina Doctor Gina Doctor ... Del Rey
Clyde Kusatsu ... Mr. Agasa
Romy Rosemont ... Loan Officer
Joshua Snyder ... Trey Bryan
Rachel Nichols ... Trey's Girlfriend
Shane Edelman ... Chet
Emily Kuroda ... Japanese Woman
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Storyline

Twenty-something native Vermonter Mirabelle Buttersfield, having recently graduated from college, is finding her new life in Los Angeles not quite what she was expecting or hoping. An aspiring artist, she is barely eking out a living working as a clerk at the women's evening gloves counter at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills and thus she can barely make the payments on her massive student loans. She treats her job with a certain distance, often daydreaming as she watches the life of the rich as they shop at the store. She has made no friends, including from among her Saks colleagues, and thus lives a solitary existence, which does not assist in her dealing with her chronic clinical depression. So it is with some surprise that two men with a romantic interest in her enter her life almost simultaneously. The first is poor slacker Jeremy, who works as an amplifier salesman/font designer. Mirabelle continues dating Jeremy as only a relief to her solitary life, as Jeremy doesn't seem to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Relationships don't always fit like a glove.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

4 November 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Az eladólány See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$229,685, 23 October 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$10,281,585, 19 March 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The exterior shooting location of Ray's house was at the corner of Hercules and Apollo Drives in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles. See more »

Goofs

When Jeremy come back from getting a condom you can see Mirabelle sitting cross-legged with her elbows at her knees in the mirror reflection, but the immediate shot afterwards shows her with her elbows resting on her upper thighs and positioned much closer to the wall. Then she leans back with her legs to the right, but on the close-up, her legs are now going to her left. See more »

Quotes

Jeremy Kraft: Congratulations. You've officially gone on a date with Jeremy. Don't forget to hold the handle when you lock the door.
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Connections

References Hulk (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Somewhere in My Heart
(1997)
Written by Jeff Oakes and Bill Peterson
Performed by The Volebeats
Published by Jeff Oakes and Bill Peterson, BMI
Courtesy of Safehouse Records
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User Reviews

 
Off-Kilter Modern Romance
2 November 2005 | by noraleeSee all my reviews

"Shopgirl" is an off-kilter modern romance. It plays on several conventions of movies, from the old-fashioned "The Shop Around the Corner" to the fairy tale "Pretty Woman," but takes surprising turns away from those stereotypes.

The look and sound of the film are half of its appeal, from Peter Suschitzky's dreamy cinematography, to the production and art design that has each character in their own color scheme, to the enthralling score by Barrington Pheloung, though the atmospherics almost overwhelm the three characters who frequently seem like pieces in a set design as the camera slowly glides back to reveal an entire mise en scene.

Claire Danes is radiant and holds our eye and sympathy throughout the film, as we see life mostly from her first naive than wiser perspective, though she is portrayed as just about the last sweet young woman in the country, as all the other women seem pretty cold-blooded. While she has an underlying problem common to such in TV and movies these days, it is handled surprisingly visually and tenderly.

Over fourteen months, she encounters a bumbling young suitor, the adorably scruffy Jason Schwartzman, who even as his character matures retains endearing enthusiasm and quirks, and a sugar daddy in a somewhat mysterious Steve Martin, who is more believable than "Sex and the City"s similar "Mr Big." Ironically, the few physical comedy scenes are with Schwartzman, not Martin-- and that's a very funny scene about a condom, as this film in its quiet way is pretty frank about sex.

An occasional voice-over narration is obtrusive and unnecessary, even as Martin's adaptation of his novella claims the need for an omniscient observer, but the camera and the characters' body language visually communicate the same information. The sudden insertion of a parallel scene where two main characters suddenly explain themselves to listeners who we didn't know previously existed in their lives is a bit too convenient and doesn't really fit.

But the film is on the whole winning, as each character very gradually learns about who they are and who they can be, about the meaning of life, love, success and human connections, and about the clear-eyed choices they can make to attain these, to change or not. While the bulk of the film is set in Los Angeles, it feels like a picaresque journey of discovery as they go from one scene to another.

The song selections are marvelous, particularly Mark Kozelek's varied twists on different genres to reflect the different characters. It's a cute joke to have Schwartzman's "Jeremy" as a roadie when he has been on the road with Phantom Planet.

The costume design by Nancy Steiner is lovely; clearly the shopgirl was using all the discounts available to her at Saks even before a paternalistic benefactor picks up the tab.


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