Release Date: September 30th, 2005 (NYC-Angelika Film Center)
The Cast: Victoria Foyt, Rob Morrow, Lee Grant, Bruce Davison, Mae Witman
Directed by Henry Jaglom.
BASIC PREMISE: Holly (Foyt), a boutique owner and clothing designer, must pay her landlord $40,000 in back rent by the end of Mother's Day or she will be forced to close her boutique for good.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: There are many delightfully funny scenes throughout this very fresh and entertaining film. Throughout the plot, there are interviews with different women about their obsessive relationship to clothing. They are slightly distracting at first, but eventually they flow easily with the rest of the film. Watching these interviews is like watching scenes from a Christopher Guest movie: the people are off-beat, witty, sarcastic, and, most often, hilarious. This mockumentary style of filmmaking adds a very nice balance of comedy to the rest of the film, which is mostly in the genre of drama. The conflict is very clear from the beginning: she owed $40,000 to her boutique's landlord but she is broke because of her husband's poor money managing. It is not certain what he had spent it on, but that's unimportant. Her landlord is nice enough to give her an extra day to pay her back, so now it is up to Holly to do all she can to save her shop. One of her surprising methods is to hire a lone shark, but, not surprisingly, he ends up ripping her off with his crazy interest rates. There are three very amusing subplots. One of them involves her mother played by Lee Grant, who gives a very lively performance--she really lights up the screen, especially with her clothing. Then, there's her young daughter (Witman) who is growing up too fast. Finally, there's a potential romance with Miles, whom she meets and falls in love with at a watch store. Fortunately, this film moves a brisk enough pace that there is hardly any room for melodrama. The ending is predictable and a bit contrived, but it doesn't take away from your enjoyment of the film.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Holly and her daughter have a few moving scenes when they bond, especially one with them laying together side by side after a big argument. The mockumentary interviews do have some biting satire and insight into the way people are attached to their clothing. One woman admits that when she buys clothing, she is really buying a feeling. Another one claims that clothing is fundamentally a form of theater that depends on what role you want to play.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Predictable and occasionally contrived plot.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 1
THE BOTTOM LINE: An often funny, warm, and smart social satire. Victoria Foyt gives an emotionally strong performance. The scene-stealing Lee Grant is dazzling. You will enjoy this film whether you like going shopping for clothing not!
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
The "G" Menu