Confessions Of A Shopaholic

Confessions Of A Shopaholic

**

Reviewed by: Scott Macdonald

Fully expecting to loathe it, based on trailers and promotional marketing, it surprised me that Confessions Of A Shopaholic made me laugh a couple of times. It is nothing I will ever wish to see again, however. If you are roped into seeing this by friends, it is not overly painful, but rethink your friends nonetheless.

We'll start with the good. Isla Fisher is once again luminescent; easily the most attractive airheaded redhead in Hollywood, and finally in her own starring vehicle. She is incapable of making a bad movie good (Wedding Daze, Wedding Crashers), but entertaining to watch anyway. Ultimately, the movie proves that Fisher is a gifted physical comedian, with the most difficult pratfalls and ditzy acting done with precision and skill, no small challenge in itself. Director PJ Hogan (Muriel's Wedding) showcases her in her best light and keeps the plot, such as it is, motoring away in a light and frothy fashion, as though stuffed full of anti-depressants and caffeine.

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The movie presents a fairytale reality where everyone is devoted to the culture of consumption, and fails to say anything about it, other than to be a rudimentary cautionary tale, mixed with all the product placement under the sun. Namedropping Gucci and Prada as though they were all that humanity could ever hope to aspire to? Just in time for the recession, a tale of disgustingly excessive spending and none of its consequences. I can hardly remember a movie more spectacularly ill-timed.

Its villain? A debt collector who is not above a bit of pressure. Its hero? Rebecca Bloomwood, a clueless woman who has never known and cannot imagine poverty, and who also can't keep her credit cards on ice. She dreams of writing for a fashion magazine, but ultimately stumbles (quite literally) into writing for a money-management magazine. Oh, dear Lord - how dumb do they think we are!? Unbelievable plotting is the last of its sins, and without revealing the ending - let us just say that the plot betrays the convictions of its earnest initial cautions.

I wrestled with this review; I really did. The movie is a cynical exercise in packing in demographics, all the while a reprehensible, patronising piece of trash, but showcases a very funny lady, who deserves much better than the vehicles her agent has acquired for her. Do I damn the film because I hate its message, or praise it a little because I laughed occasionally? Ultimately, it's a choice between one star and three. Let's split the bill and call it done.

Reviewed on: 20 Feb 2009
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Confessions Of A Shopaholic packshot
Ditzy farce about fiscally irresponsible journalist.
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Director: PJ Hogan

Writer: Tracey Jackson, Tim Firth, Kayla Alpert, Sophie Kinsella

Starring: Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy, Krysten Ritter, Joan Cusack, John Goodman, John Lithgow, Kristin Scott Thomas, Fred Armisen, Leslie Bibb, Lynn Redgrave

Year: 2009

Runtime: 104 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US

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