I didn’t grow up in the culture obsessed world of “shopping” nor did my parents spoil me with every fad or trend. Get me inside my favorite retail stores and trust me, I enjoy buying a new pair of shoes or that perfect new outfit for something special (perhaps a bit too much), but for the most part that was not a part of my teen years. However, this movie looked hilarious, add in the fact that the leading man is vastly becoming one of my favorite actors and this film was too difficult to resist.
If there’s sale featuring prestigious fashion lines or brands, Rebecca “Becky” Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) is happy. Ever since she was a little girl, Becky has wanted to have what all the grown-ups had – a “magic card.” Now all grown up, and living on her own in New York working at a crummy little magazine, Becky is ready to take the fashion world by storm. Unfortunately her current boss has decided to retire, so her job comes to an end… and the timing couldn’t be worse! Becky has just learned she has a debt of sixteen thousand dollars along with a pesky debt collector at her stiletto heels. Just when she thinks she can land her dream job she learns that the position has been filled by a high-class more experienced applicant. Through a series of unfortunate events, Becky is unexpectedly hired at a financial magazine run by Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy). Following one mishaps after another, she becomes an overnight sensation as a financial expert columnist – the irony of which is not lost on Becky… or her penchant for spending.
No matter how old I get, wholesome movies are still what I like best – they remind me what truly “great” entertainment is. What does a movie gain by throwing in crass material that lends nothing to betterment of the story? In recent years though there has been an influx of films that answer more of a wholesome description (which to me would suggest audiences still want long for happy-go-lucky movies). Disney has had a number of box office hits in recent years and they’ve proved enjoyable. ‘Shopaholic’ is yet another story that one can be thankful Disney snatched up; this was a book-to-screen working script that benefited greatly from the right filmmakers. Based on a best-selling novel, it was jammed-packed with profanity and after only about twenty pages I chose not to finish it.
With that being said, Confessions of a Shopaholic (the film) is just another light-hearted comedy. The humor is fantastic; Dancy and Fischer are both excellent comedians, albeit for different reasons. Fischer was superb in the leading role, because she managed to make the character of Becky so likable (and cute: it would be hard to make that bridesmaid dress actually look wearable! She pulls it off). You are annoyed with her one minute for her lack of self-control and the next you love her for her frivolous personality that while imperfect is endearing. Dancy has officially reached leading man status along with the other numerous box office dudes looking for prime billing space. His character was fun to watch develop because he was so “in control” while at work, but after he meets Becky, he becomes smitten with her, and his behavior does a 180 complete was adorable, awkward moments.
Irrespective of her personality, Becky makes a mess of her life. There is the popular saying about the tangled webs we weave when first we deceive and that phrase certainly is a reality for Becky: she is living it. She weaves tall tales involving her debts in order to “save” herself from embarrassment. In the end through humility, she comes to realize the importance in honesty. Surprisingly this film deals with the serious side of debts incurred and how crippling they can be. In today’s day, it is especially relevant in America dealing with such a volatile economy. Seeing the responsibility Becky (finally) took to rid herself of the problems she made was an important lesson. If I did have one complaint about this production it would have to be the wardrobe, which was too… “out there” for my tastes. Since this is a movie centering on clothes and fashion, I had thought they would be fabulous, but nothing seemed to stand out even when you are expecting a character to wear something fabulous. (The pairings were too “busy,” and at the ball the men outshine the ladies looking quite handsome in their tuxedos.) Ironically, this just proves that we don’t need material possessions to make us happy. If you, like Becky, love to shop, who knows? Maybe there is a lesson in here. Stranger things have happened.
(Be aware: a sprinkling of profanity makes litters script, including the phrase “you can stick your job up your a**.” There is some alcohol consumption. An engaged couple is shown living together. A woman is referred to as a prostitute [she isn’t]. Plunging necklines and short dresses are the dress code. The film rates PG.)