Throwback Thursday- Steve Martin Triple Feature- Shopgirl (2005), Bringing Down The House (2003) And It’s Complicated (2009)

It seems, that with some actors, they either mellow or they are able to expand the genres that they are able to work in as they age. Steve Martin is one of those actors.

In the 2000’s, he started to step away from the goofy roles that he previously played to play more mature, romantic leading men and family man characters.

In 2005, he wrote and starred in Shopgirl. Mirabelle (Claire Danes) is a twenty something college graduate living in Los Angeles. Hoping to build a career as an artist, the only job she can get is working at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills.  She meets two different men: Ray Porter (Steve Martin), a wealthy older man and Jeremy (Jason Schwartzman), a man of about her age who has also not yet discovered what he wants out of life.

I like this movie. It’s romantic, but not too sentimental. It is simple, sweet and well done.

Two years earlier, he starred in Bringing Down The House. Peter Sanderson (Steve Martin) is a  workaholic lawyer whose marriage has just ended.  In an attempt to re-ignite his love life , and get over his ex wife whom he still loves, Peter registers for an online dating website. The woman he thinks he is speaking to is a Caucasian blonde. The woman he is actually speaking to is Charlene (Queen Latifah), a convicted criminal who needs Peter to prove that she is innocent.  Problems arise when Charlene’s presence in his life nearly ruins his prospects of wooing a very wealthy client and winning his wife back.

There was some controversy at the time of the movie’s release of the depiction of Queen Latifah’s character.  But frankly, I don’t see where the issue lies. Charlene is a smart woman who was caught up in something that was not of her making. She knows that Peter is not only the key to exonerate her, but he also needs a little shaking up in his life.

Finally, in 2009, Steve Martin was part of the trio in It’s Complicated.  Jane (Meryl Streep) and Jake (Alec Baldwin) have been divorced for years. Jake is remarried with a stepson, married to the woman he cheated on his ex-wife with. They meet again for one of their children’s college graduation and  the spark re-ignites between them. Meanwhile, Jane is looking to remodel her house and hires Adam (Steve Martin) to advise on the remodel. Adam is smitten with Jane, but Jane and Jake are sneaking around together.

What I like about this movie is that the three main actors are all age appropriate, which is not often seen in movies. I especially like that Jane is fully fleshed out character and not the bitter middle aged divorcee that she could have been written as.

I recommend all three movies.


Author: Writergurlny

I am Brooklyn, NY born and raised writer who needs writing to find sanity in an insane world. To quote Charlotte Bronte: “I'm just going to write because I cannot help it.”

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