Shopgirl — Novella vs Movie


ShopgirlA Novella

I promised a review of Shopgirl by Steve Martin, so  here it is.  The novella is about a young woman living in LA, working at a fancy department store, trying to make it on her own.  She is an artist who doesn’t do much with her art and she easily gets depressed.  She has trouble connecting with people and is desperate for a connection.  A wealthy, older gentleman (in his 50s) whoos her and they start an affair. 

This novella is definitely about its characters and their journey through life.  It is also about relationships and how people approach them differently.  There are miscommunications, hurt, love, and sadness.  Overall, I enjoyed the character and relationship development.  I have to warn you that the vocabulary is sometimes difficult.  I should have had my dictionary nearby, but I just kept plugging through using context clues as best I could.  After reading the novel, I definitely wanted to see the movie and I put it to the top of my Netflix list.

The movie, starring Clare Danes and Steve Martin (himself), generally followed the novella.  There were some minor changes, as always, but the main story remained true to the book.  I guess it helps when the author of the book also stars in the movie.  I have to say that I didn’t think Steve Martin was a good pick for the older gentleman in this story.  He just wasn’t what I pictured in my head while reading the novella.  Plus, I just don’t see Steve Martin as a serious character.  Nevertheless, he does do an adequate job with the role.  Clare Danes was a good choice, I thought.

So, overall, I would recommend the book and the movie.  Although, if you’re looking for action, just skip it.


7 responses to “Shopgirl — Novella vs Movie

  1. Pingback: Shopgirl — Novella vs Movie : thegameoflove

  2. I’d always wondered about “Shopgirl,” the novella not the movie. I’m not much of a movie person. While the plot sounds intriguing, I’m not sure I’d want to have a dictionary handy to brush up on my vocabulary.

  3. Several years ago I saw a play based on this little novella. It was pretty well done. It looks like I’d like both the book and the movie. Thanks for this review.

    (And, hey, as long as you’re reading and watching the movies, you should check out my Lit Flicks Challenge!)

  4. I think I’ll skip the movie, but the book sounds like it’s worth a look. I love books that delve into relationships between various people. Great review on both of these together!

  5. I’ll try it out on Netflix rather than read the book, sounds interesting though. Thanks for the review!

  6. I saw the movie first so I know when I was reading the book I had all the actors in my mind. I can’t believe how much I enjoyed both – I had remembered hearing the hype about the book but wasn’t all that interested until after I saw the movie. Enjoyed your review!

  7. I loved both of these two! I think the movie was terrific, as did my hub which was a bit of a shock. The mood of the book is captured in the movie. Danes is spectacular and Schwartzman always surprises. Steve Martin is incredibly talented and I always try to give him a clean slate of expectation for every project he touches.

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