Starring: Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, Shirley MacLaine
Director: Curtis Hanson
Running Time: 130 mins
In Her Shoes is an American film about two sisters, one responsible and hard-working, and the other irresponsible and impulsive, whose relationship begins to deteriorate over time, until they discover they have a grandmother who they never knew about.
A film that struggles to have the charm of a fluffy romantic comedy or the emotional depth of a strong, intimate drama, In Her Shoes is a rather frustrating and ultimately boring watch. Despite a couple of decent lead performances from Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette, the film runs for far too long, with an overblown opening act, and slow-moving, predictable character development throughout.
Of course, a good rom-com doesn’t need to be silly, lightweight and 90 minutes long to entertain. A lot of people like The Holiday, and while I can’t say that it’s my favourite, it’s a film that uses its longer runtime to decent effect in crafting a cosy – if not painfully sappy – pair of love stories.
In Her Shoes, however, seems like it’s just long and drawn-out for the sake of it. The story is pretty simple, two sisters of opposing personalities see their relationship fall apart, but ultimately tensions begin to thaw in their whole family as they discover more about their own pasts.
With that premise, this movie doesn’t really make a case for its two hour-plus runtime, and it does little to convince you otherwise from the opening act. In fact, In Her Shoes does a really good job of introducing its characters speedily and clearly, with an entertaining first few minutes that establish both Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette’s personalities and relationship nicely.
And with that, there’s not much need for the film to go on with the establishing phase of the story. It could have gone straight into the meat of it, with the inevitable development of both their personalities while also introducing its main twist a whole lot earlier on.
However, for whatever reason, In Her Shoes decides to leave a lot of dead space for the best part of an hour after the opening ten minutes – and that makes it a painfully boring watch. There’s little genuinely entertaining comedy to make you laugh, and while both Diaz and Collette are both perfectly lovely, they don’t do much to add a whole lot of life to a rather low-energy movie.
Until the appearance of Shirley MacLaine a little later on, there’s not much to talk about, and even after that point, the dramatic streak that emerges in the story is rather thin on emotional depth, bringing a generally underwhelming comedy-drama to a fairly underwhelming end. And that’s why I’m giving In Her Shoes a 6.0 overall.