Maggie Feller: I carry your heart with me. I carry it in my heart. I am never without it. Anywhere I go, you go, my dear. And whatever is done by only me… is your doing, my darling. I fear no fate… for you are my fate, my sweet. I want no world, for, beautiful… you are my world, my true. Here is the deepest secret no one knows. Here is the root of the root… and the bud of the bud… and the sky of the sky of a tree called life… which grows higher than the soul can hope… or mind can hide. It is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart. I carry your heart. I carry it in my heart.
Okay, so now its time to get in touch with the feminine… Sorry guys, but this one is a chick flick. Not to say you can’t get something out of it, but I’m just saying that the ladies in your life will probably identify with this one more than you will.
In Her Shoes is a story of sisters, their differences and the bond they share with their family. Toni Collette plays Rose, the straight-laced and responsible sister. Then there’s the flighty, flirtatious and frustrating Maggie, played by Cameron Diaz. As different as these two sisters are, they need each other. Their mother died when they were young. Their father re-married a woman they don’t like and have been sheltered from a grandmother who had just a bit of a tendency to try to tell everyone what to do. But, the girls are divided when Maggie breaks the oldest of the girl codes, by sleeping with Rose’s boyfriend. Maggie has managed to burn her last bridge with everyone close to her. But as luck would have it, in the process of pilfering around for cash, finds out about a Grandmother she thought was dead. So, she takes off for a retirement home in Florida to sponge of her Grandmother. In the meantime, Rose quits her job, gets a new boyfriend and tries to act like Maggie didn’t exist.
While in Florida, Maggie bonds with the Grandma she barely remembers and takes a job in the nursing center. There, she befriends a blind man who helps her build confidence in something other than her looks. Rose does some growing of her own, but all the questions about Maggie’s whereabouts plaque her. Then, Rose learns that there’s a Grandmother she didn’t know about, and she heads off to Florida and she finds herself face to face with Maggie. During the visit, the girls start sharing and learn a little family history. I’ll leave the rest to you to see for yourself.
Okay, so I promised that there was something to learn from this… grab those Jimmy Choo’s and let’s go!
1. Family is…. well, complicated. Okay, so this one is a “no-brainer.” As much as we need family, we really can hurt the ones we love the most. Add to that, the fact that sometimes the ones we love need us to step back and let them make mistakes. It’s hard to know when to hold them close and when to step back and it is such a fine line that it’s almost invisible. However if we really listen to them, we should be able to find it before it’s gets too much either way. They say we’re given one mouth and two ears for a reason. So maybe our loved ones don’t need to hear every way they’re wrong. I’ve got to get better at this one myself.
2. There is a bond between sisters. Between a combination of God’s grace, circumstance and parents who apparently liked each other, I have three sisters. We are all very different, but each of us shares a different bond with each other. There are fourteen years difference between the ages of oldest and the youngest. We’ve set rules between us – we may not have written them down, but over time they’ve been established by years of being together as a family. The topics we talk about, those we don’t… and those we just shake our head at. We see that with Rose and Maggie. They share everything. You can tell that when Rose and Maggie are reunited, Maggie is upset that she’s missed out on some major changes in Rose’s life. And, as much as she wants to, Rose can’t stay angry with Maggie. What I find fascinating is that Simon picks up on the how Maggie’s absence affects Rose. As much as he loves her, he can tell that something is wrong… he can’t seem to put his finger on it, but when he meets up with Rose in Florida, he can tell she’s back to herself. He could see that Rose was not whole without Maggie.
3. Perspective makes a difference. It’s always amazing to me how two people can witness the same events and have completely different conclusions about them. In the case of Rose and Maggie, the fact that Maggie was very little and was isolated from a lot of the craziness surrounding their early childhood and the death of their mother may have spared her a lot of the seriousness that Rose embodies. Somehow, Rose always knew that her mother committed suicide but that was a new revelation to Maggie, who had always seen her Mother’s irregular behavior as just being really fun. She recounts a story of her mother putting a tiara in her lunchbox one day. The thought it was awesome that she got a tiara, however, she didn’t get lunch. Perspective.
4. Find what you love and stick with it. I’ve said it over and over again, but it bears repeating. Maggie discovers she has a talent for shopping for the ladies in the retirement village. She loves to shop, and she manages to put it to use helping ladies these ladies to dress for weddings and other special events without having to fight shopping with their walkers, limited energy and various ailments. She loves it and is good at it. At the same time, Rose, quits working as a lawyer. Simon tells her he thought it was because she loved it. She admits, however, that it was not that she loved it, but that she was afraid of who she would be without it. How often do we find ourselves doing something because it’s all we know (and not in a good way)? It’s risky, and very scary, but something to think about.
5. Don’t use people. Help users find their niche. I know, it’s obvious, but Maggie uses the people in her life until they can’t stand it anymore. Her Grandmother allows it for a little while, but then manages to find a compromise where Maggie feels like she’s gaining and is able to build up some confidence. I really don’t think she felt confident enough in herself to do any better before the deal. Maybe that’s because she was babied her whole life, or maybe she just figured out that it worked and stuck with it. Either way, it appears that once she really has a direction, the using stops. One of the best methods of discipline is redirection. How can we channel negative behaviors into positive ones?
In Her Shoes is rated PG-13 for good reason. We start off with both Rose and Maggie having intercourse with their respective partners, and there is more as the movie progresses. But for the most part, that’s over once the big fight erupts. There’s also some innuendo and senior men gawking at Maggie strutting around in a string bikini and various low-cut or revealing outfits.
Whether you have a sister, or not, I hope you have someone you feel like you can share things with and I pray you won’t ever have to be tested in the manner that the relationship between Rose and Maggie is tested. God Bless!