"Maggie is fun-loving and irresponsible. Her older sister Rose is a high-powered lawyer who watches Maggie's wild life with distain. When an attempt to live together fails miserably, they go off in different directions to find the missing pieces in their lives. Based on the book by Jennifer Weiner." http://movies.yahoo.com
NOTE: This spoiler was sent in by Sassytoon who says..."I loved the book and watched this movie with two of my sisters. It was so touching. If you have a strong relationship with your sister, you too will feel it tugging at your heartstrings."
The movie opens with a thin and leggy Maggie Feller (Cameron Diaz) in a bathroom stall with a guy attempting to have sex. It becomes quite clear that she is actually very drunk. She throws up, and then asks her partner if they are done. At the same time, we see her sister Rose Feller (Toni Collette) at her Law office carrying a stack of folders. She literally runs into her co-worker, Jim (Richard Burgi) and he helps her pick up her files. They end up at her apartment and have sex. She can't believe that she has just slept with a sexy partner at her firm and takes a digital photo of him sleeping. The phone rings and it is the guy that Maggie was in the bathroom stall with. He asks that Rose pick up Maggie because she is so inebriated.
Rose is portrayed as being frumpy and fat. She picks up her sister at the high school reunion she was attending, commenting that Maggie is wearing HER shoes. The get to the car and Rose starts to berate her sister on her antics. She takes Maggie to her father's, Michael (Ken Howard) house and the step mother Sydelle answers. She will not allow Maggie in the house and after a brief confrontation, she throws Maggie's belongings, packed in a black garbage bag, out of the house and locks the door. Rose takes Maggie to her apartment. With evidence of the strewn clothes on the floor, Maggie realizes there is a real live man in the apartment. She passes out.
The next morning, Jim bumps into a barely clad Maggie as she comes out of the bathroom. Introductions are made and Jim and Rose go to work together. While she's at work, Maggie raids her sister's closet, which are full of beautiful shoes. Rose has left notes as to not touch any of her shoes, but Maggie throws away the notes and takes out different pairs of shoes to try on. When she's getting ice cream, she sees that Rose has left the Want Ads with circled job openings for Maggie to apply for. She peruses the ads only to see that there are auditions for MTV Veejays. She goes into casting and gets a callback. She tells Rose the great news, and her sister is less than pleased. Maggie claims she will be a star, and her sister tells her not to get her hopes up. During her callback, she is asked to read from a Teleprompter, and fails. She cannot read.
Rose is asked to go on a business trip regarding a case with Jim. She is delighted.
At home that night, Rose works on Maggie's resume and we hear a string of jobs in retail that she has attempted to keep but lost quickly. It is shown that her basic math skills are poor, as she is unable to take off a discount for a customer. Maggie suggests that if Rose lets her do her make up, she'll let Rose do her resume. Rose declines, but then we see them go out. At the bar, Rose is about to order drinks when Maggie tells her to wait. She looks around the room, and flirts with a guy from across the room. He comes over and asks both of the girls to join them. They end up at a diner and start complaining about and imitating their step mother. They order and then Rose asks if the diner is hiring. Maggie is offended by this and asks if her sister wants her to be doing such a demeaning job. Rose tells her that she can't rely on her looks forever, and she has to be able to take care of herself. Maggie leaves, angry.
The next day Rose a car comes to pick her up for the business trip. However, Jim is not in the car, but another attorney, Simon (Mark Feuerstein). She is disappointed. Simon goes to her hotel room to invite her for dinner, but she flatly turns him down.
Maggie meanwhile starts handing out her resume to numerous retail places.
She breaks the heel on one of her sister's shoes, and while changing into boots, sees a help wanted sign at a pet grooming place. She applies and gets the job right away. Leaving her new job, she discovers that her sister's car has been towed. 2 guys walking down the street offer her a ride to the towing facility, but they suggest going for drinks first. She agrees. On the way to the towing facility, one of the guys starts to get frisky with her, trying to kiss her, and touch her. She starts to get very uncomfortable, and afraid. They arrive at the facility and she tells them thanks, and that she can take it from here. One of the guys rushes to follow her and wants to keep going out. She declines and he gets mad. He tackles her and she freaks out and starts hitting him. She gets away, gets into the car and rushes away, with the guy screaming that she has to pay the fine.
Rose gets back from the business trip in a foul mood. She was hoping to spend the trip with Jim, but instead wasted days on the case, and now is required to catch up on all the work she has missed. She the apartment a mess and finds Maggie in bed with a dog that she took from the grooming place. She's late for work, so she tells Maggie to clean up the place, change the sheets and get rid of the dog before she gets home. Moments later she returns after seeing that her car has an impound boot on it. Maggie pleads that she was trying to tell her what happened, that she got scared because she was with two guys but Rose won't hear any of it. She yells at her sister and tells her that she can't take her anymore, and that she needs to leave. Maggie has no place to go ? but Rose doesn't care. She wants her out of her apartment by the time she gets home.
Rose goes to work upset. She sees Jim and he apologizes that he was unable to make the trip because things got crazy at the office. She said that she works at the same office, she understands how things get crazy, but that he should have at least had the decency to call.
Maggie goes to her father's house to gather her belongings. She finds cards with money in them from her grandmother. She didn't even know she had one. She goes back to the apartment, upset at Rose, and starts taking shoes and various other items. The door rings and clad only in a shirt, panties and her sister's boots, she opens the door. It's Jim, with flowers for Rose. She tells him Rose isn't their, but leaves the door open and slowly walks away.
Rose comes home to find her apartment still a mess and the dog still there. She goes into her room and finds Jim having sex with her sister. She runs out of the room crying. Jim tries to apologize while Rose takes her sister's garbage bag of belongings and starts putting things in. She tells Jim that she could have loved him, but that her sister won't even remember her name. She asks Maggie to spell Jim's name. And then kicks them both out of her apartment. Jim drives Maggie to the bus depot and asks her if there is anything he can do. She wants $200 dollars, because it's the going rate. At the bus depot, she decides to go to Miami, where her grandmother lives.
Rose is heartbroken and leaves her job. She is walking the dog that Maggie left behind when a couple ask if she is a dog walker. They are interested in her services and Rose finds out that the dog came from the groomers. She tells the owner that she won't tell anyone about the mishap of losing the dog, if she'll promote her dog walking services exclusively. So Rose becomes a dog walker by trade. One day, as she is walking dogs, she bumps into Simon, her old co-worker. He tells her that she looks fantastic, and not at all ill. Apparently, her office has spread many rumors as to why she has taken a leave of absence. He wants to take her to lunch. She declines but he is adamant about it. They end up at a Japanese restaurant where he orders for her. She comments on this, and he tells her that he is an expert order-er. He forcibly makes plans with her for dinner and she accepts.
Meanwhile, Maggie meets her grandmother, Ella (Shirley MacLaine) but is icy. She spends most of the time in her room or out tanning, causing quite a stir at the retirement home. We find out that Rose and Maggie's mom (Ella's daughter) died in a car accident and that their father was keeping Ella away from them because he blamed her for her death. Ella is also being pursued by a man at the retirement home. Ella's friends think that Maggie is just trying to take advantage of her, and Ella comes home to find Maggie looking through her drawers. She tells Maggie that the money is in the wrong drawers, and asks her how much money she wants. She wants $2000 to got to New York to get into acting. Ella tells her that she won't give her the money, but if she goes to work at the care home, she will match what Maggie makes, penny for penny. Maggie starts her job clearing away lunch trays from patients rooms, when a man asks her to read to him. She declines. Another time, he asks her again, and she tries to, but she cannot. He asks her if she has dyslexia and then reminds her that when you read, you can pretty much guess what the next word is and that poetry is meant to be read slowly. Maggie learns to read.
Rose and Simon have dinner together. They get along smashingly and end up at her apartment. As she pours wine, he finds a romance book of hers that she claims is her sister's. He reads from it aloud and claims that it has turned him on. In a sweet moment, he goes to kiss her and she turns out the lights. He turns them back on, and she turns them off. He turns them on again, and looks at her and then kisses her.
There is a series of dates between them, and we see him propose by putting the ring on a shrimp tail. She accepts. They announce their engagement and she calls her father, thinking Maggie is with him. When she finds out that Maggie is not with him, and that her cell phone has been disconnected, she becomes scared. Maggie is flourishing and even attempts to make Ella dinner. One of Ella's friends needs a dress for her son's wedding and Maggie decides to help out. She is so pleased with what Maggie has chosen, that more women want her assistance. She asks Ella to help her out with the bookkeeping and starts her business as personal shopper. Meanwhile, Ella asks about Rose, and Maggie is tight lipped. One day, she discovers balled up note paper with "Dear Rose, I'm sorry? written on it. She gets Rose's address and sends her a letter and airline ticket.
Rose is given a bridal shower by her step mother that goes horribly awry as it is a roast. Sydelle is appalled by Rose's behavior. Rose leaves, distraught because the shower should be thrown by someone who actually loves her. Simon senses something is amiss, but Rose is not able to share her sadness about her sister with Simon, because she knows Simon will hate Maggie. When Rose and Simon are attending a wedding, she bumps into Jim. Jim apologizes again, stating that he did like her, but because he was an unattractive youth, he still can't believe that beautiful women want him. She says that he was the reason that her and her sister aren't talking, and Simon walks in at that moment. He is upset that she has not opened up to him, but opened up to a man that hurt her. He calls off the wedding until Rose can be honest with him.
She finds Ella's letter and goes to Miami. There, she finds Maggie as well. They both reminisce about their mom with Ella and it is discovered that their mom had a mental illness. Ella wanted to protect her daughter, but making her take the medication made her feel dead inside. Their father thought that their love was enough to get by, but after an incident where the girls were taken out of school and taken to another state to sell fudge, he threatened to take the girls away from her and put her in a hospital. 2 days later, she died. The accident was not an accident at all, but intentional, as Ella received a letter a few days later from her daughter asking her to take care of Rose and Maggie. Maggie does not remember the incidents this way, but Rose does. Maggie apologizes to Rose and the sisters make up. Here Rose tells Maggie that she is no longer engaged and what happened. Maggie confides in the ladies at the retirement home, and they help her concoct a plan to get Simon to come to Miami by telling him that Rose is pregnant.
There is a party at the retirement home and Ella is being courted. As the girls watch their grandmother dancing, Simon arrives. Rose and him talk and she tells him she is in fact not pregnant, and then tells him about Maggie and why she's been so closed up. They make up.
As Rose goes to leave for him with Simon, Maggie asks her not to get her wedding dress, she will take care of it. Rose is hesitant but says okay.
The wedding takes place at the run down looking, Jamaican restaurant. Ella and Michael talk and he says that he owes her an apology. She says that she owes a few of her own. Ella gives Rose her own wedding shoes and Rose looks stunning in her dress made by Maggie. After Rose walks down the aisle, Maggie has a surprise. She says that Rose usually hates her surprises, but that she hopes that she will like this one. She then reads a poem by E.E Cummings to a tear filled room, "I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart).
Simon and Rose leave the wedding, and Maggie watches them as the car drives away, waving, while Rose looks back at her.
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