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Movie Review: Shopgirl

Alternate Title: Love Me Tender

Story: This film had everything I like about going to the movies. A fine cast, characters that I cared about, visually exciting cinematography, an intelligent script, subtle performances, charm and wit. So there you have it. I liked this film.

It is based on the novella by Steve Martin (who also wrote the screenplay) with sensitive, innovative direction by Anand Tucker (Hillary and Jackie) and stunning cinematography by Peter Suschitzky.

It is a simple story about a young woman and her relationship with two very different men. But it is about much more. It is about what we look for in our relationships and in ourselves. It is about growth. It is about chapters. It is a meditation on love and loss. It is well worth your time and effort. It is a film that has a lot of class, tenderness and laughs.

Do not be persuaded or dissuaded with talk about it's like Lost in Translation. It is NOTHING like that film (and I really liked that film too). It is going on my Lobo's Best of 2005 list for sure.

Acting: Claire Danes was sensational. I always get mail about Ms. Danes when she is in a film I review. She seems to have a love her or hate her audience. Count me in on the love her list. Steve Martin gives a very subtle performance as the older man and allows Claire Danes to soar. Jason Schwartman is hysterical as the younger man. I was hooked on his character from the get-go when I discovered his calling in life was the designing of fonts.

Predilection: None

Critters: One detached orange cat named Sylvia.

Food: Lots of fine food when dining with the rich beau and lots of fast food garbage when with the younger dude.

Blatant Product Placement: Saks, Diet Coke, Snapple, Mac and Bulgari.

Soundtrack: A very interesting blend of tunes.

Visual Art: There's lots of nice fine art stuff (Steve Martin is a big collector) and Ms. Danes' character is an artist.

Theater Audience: Surprisingly packed for a mid afternoon flick.

Drift Factor: No drifting for me.

Predictability Level: Moderate.

Tissue Usage: A little welling but no tears.

Oscar Worthy: Absolutely. I think Claire Danes deserves a nod.

Nit Picking: Not a nit in sight.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen for sure. For some of Claire Danes' other films, try renting: Stage Beauty, The Hours, Igby Goes Down, Brokedown Palace, Polish Wedding, The Rainmaker, U Turn, Romeo + Juliet, To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday, Home for the Holidays, and How to Make an American Quilt.

Length: Under two hours.