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For more movie summaries, see Kam's Kapsules.

photo caption:
TWO SISTERS WHO EVENTUALLY BECOME RECONCILED: At a cocktail party, Rose (Toni Collette, left) is unhappy with the way her sister Maggie (Cameron Diaz) is flirting with Rose's current boyfriend.

In Her Shoes: Seismic Sibling Rivalry at Center of Dysfunctional Family Drama

Movie Review by Kam Williams

Maggie May (Cameron Diaz) and Rose (Toni Collette) Feller may have been best friends all their lives, but the sisters are also opposites, as different from each other as night and day. Maggie is a beautiful amoral, academic underachiever who relies on her womanly wiles and sticky fingers to get whatever she wants. Her older sister Rose is a mature woman who excelled in school but never had much luck when it came to men.

As a result, Rose has a successful career at a Philadelphia law firm while her sister lives at home and is unemployed. However a scarring childhood trauma, which ripped the rest of their relatives apart, binds the sisters together.

Their mother perished in a suspicious car accident when Maggie was only six, and their maternal grandmother, Ella (Shirley MacLaine) blamed her son-in-law, Michael (Ken Howard), for her daughter's untimely death. Their father ended all contact with that side of the family, and misled his daughters into believing that Ella had passed away.

Michael has since married Sydelle (Candace Azzara), a selfish shrew who favors her own daughter, Marcia (Jackie Geary), over her step-daughters. When Maggie shows up drunk in the middle of the night after an impromptu liaison with a classmate (Anson Mount) at her 10th high school reunion, Marcia throws her out of the house.

Reluctantly, Rose comes to the rescue, allowing her sister to live with her, never suspecting that she would even think about seducing her boyfriend Jim (Richard Burgi). After catching them in a compromising position, she kicks Maggie out.

In Her Shoes, is directed by Oscar-winner Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential), the movie is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Jennifer Weiner.

In the film, the sisters' sibling rivalry is at the center of the story, however, there are too many secondary themes and supporting characters to keep track of, a common problem encountered when bringing books to the screen. When Maggie relocates to Florida, she moves in with her long-lost grandmother, and finds her purpose in life working with the residents of her grandmaother's retirement community.

Meanwhile, back in Philadelphia, Rose finds herself being wooed by Simon (Mark Feuerstein), a patient suitor who isn't bothered by the fact that his former colleague has quit her position at the law firm to become a professional dogwalker. While waiting for Simon to decide to marry Rose, the loose ends are brought together to ensure that their wedding will be attended by her estranged sister, grandmother, step-mother, and her weak-willed father, among others.

Cluttered and predictable; but laced with laughs and enough of an emotional payoff to make it worthwhile.

Very Good (3 stars). Rated PG-13 for sex, expletives, and mature themes. Running time: 130 minutes. Distributor: 20th Century Fox.

For more movie summaries, see Kam's Kapsules.



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