Shopgirl - Passion and Philosophy

Chemistry and drama is shared between Claire Danes and Steve Martin

For almost three decades, Steve Martin has been writing novels, screenplays, novellas, plays, and short stories.  His writing credits in film include The Jerk, Bowfinger, L.A. Story, Roxanne, A Simple Twist of Fate, and the pre-production movie based on his play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile.  And, of course, he wrote and starred in Shopgirl, a film about one hopeless romantic and the two men who seek to possess her.

The hidden beauty of Claire Danes

The first thing audiences might note about the movie Shopgirl is that Steve Martin, a man who just turned sixty, plays the love interest of Claire Danes, who turned twenty-six this year.  Interestingly, the age factor dissipates after the initial shock of the first sweet embrace.  After all, Steve Martin is still very energetic and distinguished for a man of his age. 

Claire Danes shines in her first exclusively romantic story since Romeo and Juliet (unless you count Terminator 3 or The Hours).  In choosing her as the 'shop girl', the movie benefits from an actress of hidden beauty, which only pierces at the precise moments of intimacy.  Indeed, it appears that the director has chosen camera angles during several scenes that are less than flattering to Claire's complexion and body so that he dazzles the spectator later with her overwhelming sensuality.

Claire Danes and Jason Schwartzman enjoying Universal Citywalk

According to the Internet Movie Database, Jimmy Fallon was originally cast as Jeremy Kraft - the other love interest of Claire Danes' Mirabelle - but dropped out before shooting.  In my opinion, Jason Schwartzman is a much better choice, as he embodies all of the quirkiness and eccentricities of Jeremy.  Jason might be remembered as the bizarrely intelligent Max Fischer in Rushmore or as the confused nature-lover, Albert Markovski in I Heart Huckabees.

The chemistry between Claire and both Steve and Jason make it uncomfortable to expect a completely happy ending for Shopgirl.  After all, invariably only one man would take home the prize.  In this, audiences will discover the epitome of Martin's story: that for every love, there is a loss.  In fact, the philosophy of Shopgirl is its most attractive feature, as an average tale of romance is given a post-modern spin.

British director Anand Tucker (Hilary and Jackie) brings together an interesting combination of beautiful cinematography, haunting orchestrated music and heart-wrenching dramatic performances that will take the audience on an emotional roller coaster through the treacherous maze of love. 

The director Anand Tucker on far left with Steve Martin

For more information, check out the official Shopgirl website at

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