”In Her Shoes” (2005) and Wanting to Be in My New Shoes

Comfy ShoesThere I was last week, minding my own business in a Winners store, when suddenly I heard the siren song of the shoe section. I wasn’t looking for shoes… really! And yet finding that for once they had a great selection in my size, I just had to try them on! And you have to understand that, since the ottoman incident, I’ve only been able to wear these comfy shoes, pictured. First the flip flops, and then more recently graduating to the slip-ons. The swelling has now died down enough that at least I can try nice shoes on, if not actually wear them yet. (Yes, I know… definitely a first-world problem.)

My husband seems to think I have too many shoes, but is that possible, really? And don’t I need shoes for every mood and occasion? You’ll notice that when something I like actually fits (which is rare), I usually buy it in two colours! Some of my favourites that I wear for work or for events are:

What is it about finding and wearing nice boots or shoes that makes me feel so good? For it’s really about how they make me feel — confident and well-presented — not how they look to anyone else. (Even if right now I can’t wear them!) And if I got them at a bargain, so much the better!

Thinking about this had me re-watching one of my favourite book-to-film adaptations, In Her Shoes. The movie, scripted by Susannah Grant (Erin Brokovich), is based on the book by the same name by Jennifer Weiner. I love Weiner’s books, which are filled with realistic characters and dialogue as she explores women’s lives.

In Her Shoes - Maggie and RoseIn Her Shoes looks at two sisters who were motherless from a young age and who both suffer from self-esteem issues. Toni Collette plays elder sister Rose, who is a smart successful lawyer but sees herself as fat and unattractive. (Collette gained 25 pounds for the role.) Cameron Diaz plays Maggie, a party-girl who relies on her good looks to get her through life, having always felt stupid due to her struggle with reading. The movie (and the book) explore(s) the bonds of sisterhood and the different roles family members play in traumatic past events, as well as the limits of forgiveness, after Maggie does something seemingly unforgivable to get back at Rose.

In Her Shoes - Shirley MacLaineThe actors are skillfully directed by Curtis Hanson (8 Mile, LA Confidential) to emotionally realistic performances, where they are not afraid to look ugly in the throes of strong emotion. Shirley MacLaine delivers an understated turn as the sisters’ emotionally constrained long-lost grandmother. This is a women-centric movie, with the male characters serving mainly to point the women towards recognizing their own self-worth, mending their relationships, and coming to understand what it is to be “in her shoes”. (Not quite Manic Pixie Dream Guy, but more Quiet Insightful Support Person, particularly Mark Feuerstein as the man who admires Rose.)

In Her Shoes - SeniorsTo me, the movie is more a drama than a comedy, although there are certainly a lot of funny moments in it. Particularly cute and funny are the scenes at the grandmother’s retirement community, where all the extras are actually played by the elderly residents! And priceless are the scenes where the sisters are mimicking the way that their step-mother Sydelle brags about her daughter, “My Marcia”. I do really love this movie, which always leaves me with a good feeling at the end.

What does this have to do with shoes? Well, the sisters share a love for beautiful (and very high-heeled) shoes, with Rose’s closet providing a centrepiece for many of the early scenes. (Of course, I could never balance my body or my cheque book if I wore any of these!)

In Her Shoes - ClosetMaggie [looking at Rose’s collection of high heels]: “Shoes like these should not be locked in a closet! They should be living a life of scandal, and passion, and getting screwed in an alleyway by a billionaire while his frigid wife waits in the limo thinking that he just went back into the bar to get his cellphone. These are cute too.”

Rose: “Please tell me you just made that up.”

Maggie: “Look, if you’re not going to wear them… don’t buy them! Leave them for someone who’s going to get something out of them.”

Rose: “I get something out of them! When I feel bad I like to treat myself. Clothes never look any good… food just makes me fatter… shoes always fit.”

New Shoes

So, back to my shopping trip… I persevered with trying on the shoes, despite the “pain and suffering” of cramming a not-quite-healed toe into tight boots. I cleared out my shoe rack of the really worn out boots, to make way for the new… and this is what I bought. I love the black boots with the studs (although will the Vancouver rain get in over the low sides?). And the beige boots are really comfortable. The runners are actually men’s shoes, but they fit really well and look great with jeans. Frivolous? Yes. But they make me feel good and I can’t wait until I can actually wear them!

 

 

 

16 thoughts on “”In Her Shoes” (2005) and Wanting to Be in My New Shoes

  1. Oh, I love this post. Because yes, I need justification for buying shoes, too. Not that I have that many – I am too timid to indulge in that love – but I would love to have more *grins*. And I have to say that you make a compelling argument via *In her Shoes*. I saw that film in the cinema way back then, too. Mainly because of Toni Collette (who I really like as an actress), but also because I can both relate to the whole “too fat to fit clothes” self-image as well as the idea that even just owning (without wearing) the shoes gives me pleasure.
    And I love the black pair of boots you have bought – they look great. Fabulous – here is my cue to go out and look for autumn-friendly half-boots, too.
    Hope your toe heals quickly so that you can get the most of your new shoe fashion!!

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    • Thanks! When I looked at my post in Reader, it suggested I might also like certain other shoe-type posts… now I don’t feel quite so excessive… the first one I looked at had 6 or 8 pairs of black heels, alone! But yes, I too sometimes feel like Rose in terms of both the clothes and the shoes… my husband doesn’t understand that sometimes just owning the shoes is worth it. To him they’re just something so you’re not barefoot. And hopefully by the time fall comes I’ll be able to actually wear the boots!

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  2. Cute shoes, and glad to hear your toe is doing a little better. I like to own shoes that I like, but I hate shopping, so I don’t have many and the ones I do own I tend to own forever. My newest shoes are four years old. My favorite shoes I got in 1998!

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    • Thanks. It’s such a stupid thing, catching a toe, but it takes a long time to heal! I like shopping, mostly because it’s “me” time, where I can be with my own thoughts and not be accountable to anyone but myself. Maybe I should try a library or a swimming pool, though… might be less expensive! Wow, you’ve had a pair of shoes since 1998? You must be really gentle with them! Unfortunately, I had to get rid of all my older shoes because my feet permanently grew half a size after having my kids!

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      • No, I wear them a lot — at least two-three times a week in winter. And there were years where they were my constant (as in every day) shoes. Just keep them polished and I have had them resoled a number of times. Admittedly, they were expensive shoes. Doc Martens Polley Mary Janes in brown.

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          • I bought two things that year that struck me as insanely expensive at the time but which are still with me and still serving regularly — those shoes and a piece of Columbia sportswear shell / fleece combination winter outerwear. The shoes win out though because for many years I lived in places where I didn’t need a winter coat.

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  3. I only recently saw this movie, but loved it instantly. I don’t have a lot of shoes. Martin Sheen said something about shoes in the 80’s that stuck with me, so I own nine pairs of shoes. That said, the line from the movie you quoted, about why Rose buys shoes, really hit me. I had to rethink exactly how much pleasure I was getting from my two pair of shoes that are not useful at all, just adorable. Then I had to really think about how I gift myself with pleasure. Thanks for an excellent read!

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    • I really love stories about women and their relationships, when they’re done well. So, now I’m intrigued… what did Martin Sheen say?
      As for getting pleasure just from looking at the shoes, I also feel that way about the books on my shelf (although I have read them) and about my collection of coffee mugs — I have a really pretty native art mug with a hummingbird on it that somehow makes the coffee taste better! Glad you enjoyed the post!

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  4. Glad to read that the toe is starting to heal!
    I think I need to go see that movie again, it’s been a loooong time since I have and I don’t remember that much about it.
    I don’t have many pairs of shoes. While I like to wear something nice on my feet, shoes have never really caught my fancy like that. Except my Birkenstock slippers, I have 3 different pairs (black and two pairs with prints) and I love wearing them so much! I wish I could wear them in the winter….

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    • Thanks. I’ve watched the movie several times and I always enjoy it.
      For me, it’s great when I can combine a look I like with comfort … the summer shoes I pictured above are actually made by Crocs! And the lace-up short boots.were by New Balance (Cobb Hill). Really comfortable.

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      • New Balance — I’m so torn on them. Love the shoes, love their labor practices, despise their politics. I have friends who burnt their NB sneakers last year, but I can’t make myself do that, either.

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        • Oh I see… I hadn’t seen what had been said by them before. Luckily, Rockport has now bought the Cobb Hill brand. They are so comfortable. I also have a pair of their waterproof black army-style (sort of) boots that are really comfortable too.

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