Thursday, January 25

A review of the movie 'Shopgirl', or Alas! For the days of bubble baths.

I bought Steve Martin's Shopgirl from iTunes, the other night, wanting to be amused and not sure whether it was reckless to pick anything other than Breakfast at Tiffany's. I probably should have stuck with Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard; Claire Danes, Jason Schwartzman, and Steve Martin aren't very identifiable.

Somehow I have a feeling that the book, if it is good, has a lot more description in it than could be translated to the screen. Martin does say that it is a character sketch, after all, and that fits it much better than the idea of an actual romance (that, it is not).

One of the reasons I wanted to see it was because of the scene--I knew California, once, and . . . well, the trailer had me thinking it would give a little bit of attention to what it's like to be watchful in California. But it didn't.

The cinematography looked neat, especially the way things blur into darkness at the edges when you're alone, and some things seem like warm crystal. Some few familiar personalities and objects stand out obstinately against their cardboard sets. It didn't all work out that way, in the movie, though; somehow it didn't seem congruent with the way we are all supposed to be wrapped in Mirabelle's (the heroine) thoughts.

I will also admit that Death Cab for Cutie's 'The Sound of Settling' played in the background, as well as the presence of Jason Schwartzman (of Rushmore fame!) also gave the movie hope to be that funny mix of poignance and irony that mainstream indie has given to the media (I wasn't looking for anything original; I just wanted to rest). But no. Steve Martin and Claire Danes had plenty of sex scenes, and the only real "aww" moments are the way Jeremy (Schwartzman) hugs.

So I bought 'The Sound of Settling' for 1/15 of the price of the movie (I already knew I liked Death Cab), and am contemplating picking up Martin's novel to see if he can redeem himself.

Next time I will just stick with Breakfast at Tiffany's. I hate not having a bathtub.

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