Thursday, September 07, 2006


Truthful movies are rare: movies that eschew white hats and black hats for something genuine about human nature generally lack the sturm und drang (or car chases) that bring crowds into the theater. Tonight I saw a truthful movie.

Shopgirl, from the novel of the same name by Steve Martin, is a quiet little film that tells important truths. You can find a synopsis of the film anywhere (try the link I just supplied). What is remarkable about this film is that it is genuinely moral: it asks important questions about love and decency and human nature, and spins those questions through the lives of three flawed people, and then it allows the viewer to draw his own conclusions. It manages to be moral without being pompous, saved by mostly very gently drawn humor. (There is one minor storyline with a broadly humorous finish, a tale of one indecent broad.)

What kind of agreements can we make, and can we keep? What can be bought, and what cannot? What can be sold? And what is most valuable when it is freely but not recklessly given?

Watch Shopgirl. Thumb's up.


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