Shirley Maclaine, who gives her most outstanding performance since Terms Of Endearment.

2005 has been the year of the \'chick flick\' so far featuring a number of strong female dramas and comedies, like The Upside Of Anger, Me & My Sister, Moolaade, Yesterday and Monster-In-Law just to name a few. Now another film arrives to add to the list.

In Her Shoes
is the latest directed by Curtis Hanson (Wonder Boys, LA Confidential) and stars three of the best actresses working today, Cameron Diaz (Being John Malkovich),Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense, Muriel\'s Wedding) and Shirley Maclaine (Postcards From The Edge, Bewtiched).Toni Collette faintly echoes her Muriel\'s Wedding role here playing Rose, the unfulfilled, less-glamorous half of a pair of sisters, a lawyer by day and a melancholy overeater by night. Diaz on the other hand plays party-girl Maggie, dressed-to-kill, promiscuous and a full-time scammer. Needless to say they\'re at each other\'s throats 24/7 until Maggie decides to shed some baggage by tracking down her absent grandmother Ella, the always fabulous Shirley Maclaine.

To accuse this unabashed chick flick/character-based drama of being yet another indulgent foray into white, middle class America would be to sell it short (We can blame Sleepless In Seattle for that kneejerk reaction that so often greets modern day rom coms and chick flicks). In Her Shoes is more akin to James L. Brooks\' sorely underrated Spanglish from earlier this year, a marvellous slow-burn of a movie. As we\'ve come to expect from Curtis Hanson, this too is another sure-handed directorial effort, he has wracked up a modest but impressive body of work to date. And it is equally confidently acted by Diaz, Collette and Maclaine, who gives her most outstanding performance since Terms Of Endearment (1983), a movie which this greatly resembles.

I enjoyed the dialogue, the quiet silences, the humour, the symmetry of writer Susannah Grant\'s script as adapted from Jennifer Weiner\'s novel. Utimatley this is an unpredictable drama brimming with acute observations about family ties-that-bind.