Rich Man Poor Man
Review Review by Ross Anthony

An interesting piece. I'm actually a big fan of the old Steve Martin ("Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid," "The Jerk" "Lonely Guy" -- I loved 'em.). I've become less and less impressed, wondering where his special something slipped away to. Anyway, I'm happy to say I like Shopgirl. I like the script (with exceptions). And I love the direction. The acting is quite strong as well. Heck I'd probably be unconditionally praising hadn't the production included a few troublesome elements.

The voice over. VO is risky business by its nature, a filmmaker better have a pretty darn good reason to use it. And here, I did not see that motive. Flatly 80% of the VO content, had already been artfully and cleverly portrayed on screen. Therefore, such content was redundant and distracting. Further, the fact that Steve Martin voices the "over" makes it even more unpalatable. I think a straight, deadpan delivery by the Jeremy character (Jason Schwartzman) would have worked so much better, that is, if the filmmakers simply could not part with the VO.

The other distraction: a sort of incredible coincidence that brings 5 characters into the same location for no other purpose than apparent comic relief and a red herring type manipulation. It adds nothing to the picture while subtracting from its mastery.

Still, though unable to dodge these important imperfections, the film is still strong.

(I love the fake hands reaching up -- empty, but reaching.) Lastly, if you like Jason Schwartzman (he's great) check him out in a wonderful odd film: I Heart Huckabees

  • Steamboy. Copyright © 2005.
  • Starring Claire Danes, Jason Schwartzman, Steve Martin.
  • Directed by Anand Tucker.
  • Screenplay by Steve Martin Based on his Novella.
  • Produced by Ashok Amritraj Jon Jashni Steve Martin at Touchstone.

Grade..........................A- (3/4)

Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:53:41 PDT