Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Movie Review: In Her Shoes

I started this in June, and it was left unfinished. So, two months later, let me try and wrap this up. In fact, it seems fitting to run it on Poetry Wednesday.

What? A movie review of a film that was released a year and a half ago? Sure, why not? It was on the DVR for a few months until we finally watched it, in this vast wasteland after the regular television season ended and the Summer reality/replacements begin in earnest.

In all honesty, I was expecting a goofy chick flick with little to offer me intellectually. Hey, nothing wrong with that, sometimes those are just what the body needs, a little mindless entertainment.

But what we got was a very compelling story with quality performances from all of the stars, including the much-maligned Cameron Diaz.

The film is based on the smash-success novel by Jennifer Weiner, one of the pioneers of the "chick-lit" revolution in the late 90's/early '00s. Do note, the "chick-lit" marketing machine was exactly that, a craze created by publishers to sell books. That's why so many books in the genre were designed with covers that seemed so similar--like an Easter basket exploded.

So, many may say, "Yeah, sure you liked this movie. Cameron Diaz afforded plenty of fascinating scenery!"

But, what locked me in was a scene mid-way through the film, a turning point, where Diaz's character meets an old man dying in the hospital and he has her read to him, starting with one of the best poems ever written in the English language, Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art":

One Art

by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn't hard to master;

so many things seem filled with the intent

to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster

of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.

The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:

places, and names, and where it was you meant

to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or

next-to-last, of three loved houses went.

The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,

some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.

I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture

I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident

the art of losing's not too hard to master

though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

And then, later in the film, they drop a poem by e.e. cummings. Is it any wonder why I liked this film?

i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


It's a touching film with a wonderful use of poetry. I recommend it.

1 comment:

Jenn said...

sad. I haven't watched the movie. I only knew the book yesterday.