Directed by Curtis Hanson, stars Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, Shirley MacLaine, Brooke Smith, Anson Mount, Richard Burgi, Mark Feuerstein, Ken Howard and Candice Azzara.
Perhaps what appeals most about 'In Her Shoes' on first look is the fact that its concept is simple enough to encompass a very wide audience. Any woman who has a sister will know how annoying it is when she steals your new shoes before you've even had the chance to wear them yourself, so intent were you on saving them for a special occasion. So, most of us know the scenario for this film. With sisters that are like chalk and cheese there's always bound to be friction and usually the well-meaning one ends up coming off the worst.
Toni Collette is Rose Feller – a career-driven young lady who has obviously worked hard all her life, but most likely because her life outside of her legal office is so incredibly dull. Struggling with her weight and always picking the wrong man, Rose's many problems are often dwarfed by the impact her scatty sister Maggie (Diaz) has on her life.
Maggie could not be more unlike Rose. She's carefree, dramatic and totally dependent on men for her every want and need. Beautiful and very aware of it, Maggie has no concept of limits, considering other people's feelings or taking responsibility. And so it is always Rose's job to patch her up and get her back on track again when she inevitably becomes derailed on regular occasions.
But when Maggie pushes Rose to the limit, it seems that there is no going back for the sisters. Maggie goes in search of her long-lost grandmother, whom she had earlier presumed was dead and Rose as usual is left to pick up the pieces (bringing back the dog Maggie stole from the grooming shop where she briefly worked and quitting her own job because the aftermath of Maggie's actions was too humiliating), leaving us with a film about how neither one can function without the other.
Collette is fantastic as the sister that can't do right for doing wrong. She echoes the feeling of most normal people, in that she's genuinely a good person but she can't believe that she deserves any good in her life and so keeps messing up anything promising that comes along. Collette reportedly put on two stone for the role so that she could take her character from frumpy to fab. Diaz too plays the spoilt, beautiful sister well – really capturing Maggie's nasty streak. Veteran actress MacLaine embraces the part of their grandmother with an obvious enthusiasm, complementing the two younger actresses and looking remarkably sprightly as the young one amongst the posse at the retirement home where she works – proving that she still adds a certain spark to the screen.
Although 'In Her Shoes' makes for entertaining fare on the whole, there are moments where it hammers home its moral messages a bit too loudly (the bond with a sister cannot be replaced and must result in one forgiving the other for a huge betrayal and so on). The clichés too are endless. It takes a long-lost grandmother (fairy godmother?) to reunite the girls and make them realise how much they really need each other. And of course, it's the older characters that end up teaching the young ones a thing or two. However, these small flaws are easy to overlook.
'In Her Shoes' may be pure fluff but, as sweet chick flicks go, this one does exactly what it says on the tin. You'll come away from it thinking how true it is that some people will never change no matter how much you want them to, that there's nothing worse than being at loggerheads with someone who will always come off better... But most of all you'll want to run home and wear your new gold shoes (even just around the house with your tracksuit bottoms!)... before your younger sister has claimed them as her own!