IN HER SHOES (Curtis Hanson) 130 minutes. Opens Friday (October 7). For venues and times, see Movies, page 99. Rating: NN Rating: NN
Curtis Hanson directing a piece of chicklit fluff like In Her Shoes is like Harold Ramis directing Schindler's List. Just wrong.
Jennifer Weiner 's bestseller about two very different Jewish sisters, svelte party girl Maggie ( Cameron Diaz ) and zaftig lawyer Rose ( Toni Collette ), needs a lighter directorial hand than the guy who delivered L.A. Confidential. Where are Penny Marshall and Nora Ephron when you need them?
For that matter, where is a decent casting director? Diaz, Collette, Shirley MacLaine and Ken Howard don't make the most convincing extended Jewish family.
MacLaine, by the way, minimally made-up and minus puffed out wigs, delivers the most relaxed, nuanced performance as Ella, the girls' estranged grandmother, who takes in Maggie when she has a big fight with Rose.
But then again, MacLaine doesn't have much competition in the acting department, since most of the two-hour-plus film is taken up with Diaz trying really hard to steal scenes as the bad girl. Prancing around Rose's Philadelphia apartment - or Ella's Florida condo - in her panties, she's a boozy floozy who steals from her family one minute, vomits the next.
The fact that she has a learning disability is supposed to endear her to us.
As for Collette, whose emotions are always so close to the surface, Hanson fails to hold her back, and she ends up seething and crying to no end. Worse, the actor's highly publicized weight gain barely registers onscreen. Collette's sure no Bridget Jones. In fact, she looks thinner than ever.
If this is considered fat, what hope do regular women have?