"CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC"
by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: *** (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5 stars)
Isla Fisher as REBECCA BLOOMWOOD
Hugh Dancy as LUKE BRANDON
Krysten Ritter as SUZE
Joan Cusack as JANE BLOOMWOOD
John Goodman as GRAHAM BLOOMWOOD
John Lithgow as EDGAR WEST
Kristin Scott Thomas as ALETTE NAYLOR
Fred Armisen as RYAN KOENIG
Leslie Bibb as ALICIA BILLINGTON
Directed by: P.J. Hogan
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Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) is a single Manhattan girl with a monstrous credit card debt and a compulsive spending problem. When she loses her job at a small magazine, she stumbles into a writing position for a finance rag. She uses her fashion sense to make strong metaphors to the finance world, all the while ducking creditors. Rebecca tries to keep her job and curb her spending habits as she falls in love with her charming editor (Hugh Dancy).
WHAT I LIKED
Like “The Devil Wears Prada” from a few years back, “Confessions of a Shopaholic” is an adorable film that transcends gender. While it’s easily (a bit too easily, mind you) labeled a chick flick, the film also works as a character study of the American spending habits. But at its core is a sweet little story about a likeable girl who just gets in over her head.
Isla Fisher owns this movie, and her plucky performance is what makes things work. Even against a backdrop of fantastic actors like John Goodman, John Lithgow and Kristin Scott Thomas, Fisher is the focus of the film, and her vibrant personality makes everything stick together. Watch this girl in the future because she’s bound to be the next Reese Witherspoon.
Fisher’s grasp of comedy allows her to be vulnerable and funny. She can do the slapstick moments, in particular a great scene in which she’s trying to steal an envelope from a mail cart, but she can also be very identifiable for women while being the girl all the guys want to protect.
“Confessions of a Shopaholic” is an exceedingly safe movie, which can serve as entertainment for the first date crowd or the couple who has been happily married for years. And it touches a certain aspect of all of our lives: spending. Whether you’re wallowing in credit card debt or have a nest egg that you’re itching to spend, you’ll find something relateable in the situations of the film.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
At times, the movie threatens to get a little too cute. Isla Fisher is very likeable on screen, and she shines in the role. I can take a lot of her throughout the film, but too many of these roles will wear her out.
The only other major flaw in the film is the unrealistic portrayal of the debt collector Derek Smeath (Robert Stanton). While it works for dramatic effect, his overpowering, harassing and downright illegal approaches to earning his commission on Rebecca’s debt is utterly unbelievable and not possible in this day and age... at least not without him going to jail.
The DVD comes with two discs, including one for digital copy to a portable device. On the feature disc, there’s bloopers, deleted scenes and a music video by Shontelle and Akon.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Chicks who like chick flicks and anyone wanting a safe date night movie.