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LAist Watches: Shopgirl

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Shopgirl is undoubtedly a uniquely Los Angeles kind of movie. From the romanticized sky-high shots of freeway traffic and hyperbolic starry skies over Los Feliz, almost every frame radiates LA the cinematic, LA of the lovelorn, LA the coolly distant, and LA the eternal optimist. Steve Martin, who adapted his novella into the screenplay, and, not surprisingly plays the surprising romantic lead, has once again penned a paean to this glimmering jewel of a city; a city whose residents may sparkle on the surface, but when they dare to draw you close may reveal their deeply cut flaws.

The film tells the story of Mirabelle, played exquisitely by Claire Danes and her quivering lower lip, an anti-depressant reliant young artist from Vermont who works the loneliest job in town as the glove counter girl at the posh Saks Fifth Avenue. Mirabelle has two suitors: the dashing but emotionally unavailable older man Ray Porter (Martin) and the scruffy ne'er do well amp salesman, Jeremy (Jason Schwartzman). For every one of Jeremy's fumbles, Ray offers a suave, polished older gentlemanly contrast, wooing her into his bed, but not allowing her into his heart. And it is heart that matters the most in this film, which Martin so deflty taps into with his words, and director Anand Tucker demonstrates with his sweeping storybook direction.