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Genre: Romance/Drama
Starring: Steve Martin, Claire Danes, Jason Schwartzman, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras
Director: Anand Tucker
Rating: NC-16 (Some sexual references)
Year Made: 2005







Languages: English
Subtitles: English/Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 46 mins
Region Code: 3




Based on Steve Martin's best-selling novella, and starring Golden Globe® winner Claire Danes (Best Actress in a TV Series, "My So-Called Life," 1994), Golden Globe nominee Steve Martin (Best Actor in a Motion Picture -- Comedy/Musical, "Father of the Bride, Part II," 1995), and Jason Schwartzman ("Bewitched"), "Shopgirl" is a disarmingly funny love story.

Mirabelle, brilliantly played by Danes, is an aspiring artist working behind the glove counter at a Beverly Hills department store when she meets two very different men - Jeremy (Schwartzman), a socially inept guy who doesn't seem to be going anywhere, and Ray (Martin) a wealthy entrepreneur who has the world at his feet. Filled with the mixed signals and missteps of a modern romance, "Shopgirl" is a fresh and witty, warm, and funny romantic comedy you can't help but fall in love with.


When we say Steve Martin, you think of Father of the Bride (1991), you think of Bowfinger (1999), you think of Cheaper by the Dozen (2003). When you see Steve Martin, you think of laughing at his slapstick antics. The last thing you’d expect the comedian to do is to write a serious novel about a salesgirl and her search for true love, and have a movie studio adapt it into a film directed by Thailand-born Anand Tucker, whose last work was Hilary and Jackie in 1998.

Based on Martin’s novel and with a screenplay written by him, the ever-luminous Claire Danees plays Mirabelle, the titular “shopgirl” who sells gloves and accessories in a high-end department store. Like any other disillusioned urbanite, she is an aspiring artist who wishes to break out of her mundane routine job. Two men then appear in her life: a rich divorcee and a struggling musician, whom she gets involved with and eventually has to make a choice which one will give her true happiness.

From the story plot, the movie sounds like a million other typical romantic comedies you have seen before. There also seems to be an ending so predictable, you think you can be a Hollywood scriptwriter and earn big bucks like them. But this little piece of gem gave us a surprise, because it turned out to be a really odd piece of cinematic gem.

There are no fluffy notions about love throughout this 104-minute movie. What we get instead is a strange brooding story that dwells on melancholy and sadness – very untypical of Steve Martin. The love triangle between Mirabelle and the two men seems to be shrouded in constant bittersweet-ness, loss and loneliness. It sure isn’t your usual candy-coated Hollywood romance story. The quirkiness of the movie is another thing you’d notice after the movie ends. While some may find the movie bland, other may rejoice at the true reflection of love in today’s fast-moving world. What makes true love? What makes happiness? The world-weary will be pondering about that after the credits roll.

Having the eccentric Jason Schwartzman (Bewitched, The Darjeeling Limited) play the struggling artist also earns the movie some points. Watching his awkwardly running out of the room to get a condom before attempting to make love to Mirabelle is, well, memorably unusual. Meanwhile, Martin plays the wealthy divorcee who has a hand in charming Mirabelle. As to what the true intention of the 62-year-old actor-writer is to produce this movie, we’ll leave the interpretation to you.


This Code 3 DVD contains no extra features.


There is nothing to complain about for the disc’s visual transfer, and is available in its original Dolby Digital 5.1 English soundtrack.



Review by John Li


. The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

. Evening (2007)

. Stardust (2007)

. Trust The Man (2005)

. The Family Stone (2005)

. The Pink Panther (2005)

. Cheaper By The Dozen 2 (2005)

. Bewitched (2005)



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