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IN HER SHOES

About The Production
Director Curtis Hanson's masterful work on films such as "L.A. Confidential,” "Wonder Boys” and "8 Mile,” could leave some to consider the female-centric world of IN HER SHOES to be a departure for the filmmaker. But Hanson doesn't see it that way. "IN HER SHOES is not that different from my other films, because all of these movies are about characters who are struggling to figure out what they're doing with themselves and what they're doing with their lives, characters who are yearning for human connection and family.”

Jennifer Weiner's second novel, In Her Shoes, was published in 2002, and quickly climbed onto bestseller lists. Recalls Weiner: "Some of the questions I had when I started writing the book were: How can people who come from literally the same place, who grow up in the same house, go on the same vacations and eat the same food for dinner, wind up being totally different people with different interests, different attitudes, and different looks? What do they still share? What are the bonds that exist no matter where their lives take them? "In families with more than one sibling, there is often the feeling of being put into a box: you're the smart, responsible one, while you're the screwed up one we're going to have to keep an eye on. I find it interesting how those labels serve you and how they hold you back.”

When she took on the adaptation of Weiner's novel, screenwriter Susannah Grant ("Erin Brockovich”) was attracted to the rich yet painful relationship between the two sisters. "The truth is that the person who knows you best is the person who can hurt you the most,” she explains. "That's also the same person who can help you the most when you're hurt. That's the risk of loving; but the risk of not loving is greater because that's horrible loneliness. In the beginning most of the characters in the story are in some sort of ‘well of loneliness' – suffering from the same isolation.”

"When I read Susannah's screenplay,” says Weiner, "I kicked myself because she had written things that I wish I had thought of. She totally captured the heart and soul of the sisters.”

"What's so great about these two sisters,” says Curtis Hanson, "is that on the one hand they're opposites. Maggie is beautiful, but thinks she's dumb. Rose is an over-achiever and thinks she's homely. But they're actually two sides of the same coin. They're connected through their mutual dependency, through habit, through love. And it's not until trauma breaks them apart that they're forced to function as individuals, which actually liberates them, allowing them to go their own way, and in a sense discover their true selves.”

Hanson's producing partner, Carol Fenelon, responded to the way the screenplay dealt with the issue of self-esteem. "So often we succumb to other people's perceptions of what we should be,” says Fenelon. "IN HER SHOES explores the challenge of making the most of what we're capable of – about being comfortable in one's own shoes. Maggie and Rose come to realize it's never too late to change one's path.”

As the movie begins, Maggie has burned every bridge with her family. She has hit bottom. "Maggie is like a child,” says Cameron Diaz. "She seems tough and outgoing, but she's really very lonely, selfish and self-centered. To make her way through life, she can only use sexuality, looks and charisma. Eventually, she realizes these things are running dry, and that she must adopt a different way of living by relating to the people who love her. But she has always seen herself as a victim. She never takes responsibility for her actions, so she doesn't really understand how she has arrived at such a bad place. When Rose throws her out, she truly has no friends to rely on, no place to go. She is desperate and terrified, and everything she does stems from that fear.” "When we meet Maggie, she's someone who always takes and never gives back,” says Carol Fenelon. "But d

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