Shopgirl vs Shopgirl (2005)


Mirabelle works at the glove counter in an exclusive department store in Beverly Hills. She lives with two cats and creates artwork every so often. Sometimes, she sells them. Jeremy, a young man who makes his living stenciling amplifiers, approaches her in a Laundromat, and they have a few dates. Then she meets Ray Porter, a handsome millionaire who spends part of his time at his home in Seattle and part of his time in LA. They commence a relationship with differing expectations.

The novella, written by Steve Martin, is like reading a dream or a modern-day fable. It is told from a very detached sense; it felt as though everything as described after it happens, and there is little emotional connection. In many ways, I didn’t mind this, although I missed conversations. It is one thing to be told what the characters say, but another to hear their voice.

The novella was turned into a film in 2005 starring Claire Danes as Mirabelle, Jason Schwartzman as Jeremy and Steve Martin as Ray Porter. For me, the film was everything the book described, but the story worked much better as a film.

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