Who's in It:
Claire Danes, Steve Martin, Jason Schwartzman, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras
What's the Deal? When celebrities reach a certain level of A-list fame, they lose touch with reality. It's almost like one of the laws of physics. And that is clearly what's happened to Steve Martin, because this story — based on his thinly veiled autobiographical novella — of a rich, older guy who falls for a wan accessories clerk at Saks is so far removed from anything resembling actual human experience that it appears to have been teleported in from another galaxy. He's still playing the Jerk, but for an entirely different set of reasons.
Those Reasons: The movie lets Martin's character off with a slap on the wrist — he Just Isn't Good at Being Close. Danes, as the shop girl in question, is painted as having a borderline mental deficiency. She has no will of her own, no reasons for her behavior, no drive to pay off her student loans, no light bulbs in her apartment …
Single Means Single, or Worse: She also doesn't have any friends that the movie deems interesting or vital enough to allow on camera for more than 30 seconds. They don't even have names. She is the Vaguely Arty Girl and nothing more, existing solely to be some dude's main squeeze.
Big Daddy to the Rescue: In one weird scene, Danes' depressed chick stops taking her anti-anxiety meds and becomes so physically debilitated that Martin has to take the pill and put it in her mouth. Creepy.
Sluts Get Taught Lessons! Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, as a sort of Dorothy Parker-esque Big Blonde co-worker of Danes — and the only character in the movie who seems to know the score — is forced to endure a Comeuppance of Destiny for no other reason than that she's sexually active. Nice one, Steve.
The Gong Show: Emily Kuroda of Gilmore Girls shows up at Saks to say "arigato" over and over to Claire Danes. And that's it. It's funny because she's Asian.
Scene-Stealing Isn't a Crime: Winona Ryder jokes are tired, but not as tired as the typical gender-role nonsense in this movie. A cameo would have livened it up.