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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2006-02-05 - 8:21 p.m.

I spent most of today tinkerin' with song ideas, and then, in honor of the Supa Bowl, I rented the girliest movie I could find, expecting a fluffy, light ol' romantic comedy.

Instead, I got an unexpectedly moving comedy/drama about friendship, family ties, and the importance of shaking off the past while accepting the way we've been shaped by it.

It ain't Chekhov or anything, but I love that the comedy doesn't come at the expense of the characters' dignity, and that the older folks in the film (about half of it is set in a retirement community) are portrayed as neither wise nor wise-cracking, but just...normal people with problems and moments of clarity. Shirley MacLaine gives a graceful, understated performance that relies a lot on subtle facial expressions.

Another thing I like about In Her Shoes is that there is a lot of Nicole Holofcener-like conversation that isn't about advancing the plot--just people talking about other people, like people actually do in real life.

And there are some excellent dogs in this film.

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