Does Steve Martin have multiple personality disorder? Shopgirl, written by Martin and based on his novella of the same name, opens with crystalline originality, a shimmering comedy with meticulous timing and sharply drawn characters. Then it careens carelessly into syrup. Mirabelle Butterfield (Claire Danes) is wasting away at a Saks glove counter. With her Victorian-tinted name and bookish ways, she's a romantic heroine, a hidden beauty yet to be discovered (read: rescued) by the man who deserves her. But the movie cuts through this crap, at least at first. Mirabelle meets Jeremy (Jason Schwartzman), a grimy artiste unaccustomed to dealing with women. Their courtship is hilarious and doomed. Enter Ray Porter (Martin), a fiftysomething technology kajillionaire with two houses and a private jet, but not the slightest inkling of personality. Most of the Mirabelle/Ray scenes are awash in strings, bathed in twinkling amber light, and implying a connection that we never see. Who is Ray? Why does he want Mirabelle? And will somebody please silence the violins?
Director: Anand Tucker
Writer: Steve Martin
Producer: Ashok Amritraj and Jon J. Jashni
Cast: Steve Martin, Claire Danes, Jason Schwartzman, Bridgette Wilson, Frances Conroy, Sam Bottoms, Rebecca Pidgeon and Joshua Snyder