Confessions of a Shopaholic
After watching CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC, I’m still not convinced Isla Fisher can carry her own film. She’s cute, charming and talented; ingredients that usually lead young actresses to good careers, but she just doesn’t have a commanding screen presence. I find all of her characters enjoyable at the time, but instantly forgettable. Rebecca Bloomwood is no exception.
Rebecca can’t stop herself from spending money on clothes and accessories and has managed to ring up a considerable amount of debt. She just lost her job and has been failing in her attempts to break into an elite fashion magazine. Down on her luck, she and her friend Suze (Krysten Ritter) get drunk and send out letters to a charming businessman (Hugh Dancy) and the chief editor of the fashion magazine (Kristen Scott-Thomas). But of course, the letters get mixed up and it eventually leads to Rebecca working for the charming businessman. Yeah, it’s farfetched and a little lazy on the part of the screenwriters, but everything is just an afterthought in an attempt to focus on Rebecca’s obsession with clothes.
So with that in mind, let’s talk about that obsession and the credit card debt she’s managed to ring up. The shopping could be fun; have Rebecca go on a shopping spree and try on crazy outfits and have fun. Women love that, and if done properly (PRETTY WOMAN), everyone can enjoy it. But we never get anything like that here. We see her pass window displays and long for the clothes, then the next scene is her with a shopping bag full of stuff. It’s the equivalent of filming an action scene with our hero pointing a gun at the bad guys, then cutting to him walking around a bunch of bodies. It’s a letdown and limits the number of enjoyable scenes.
But the biggest problem is with her credit card debt, which is a whopping $16k. I’m being sarcastic of course because $16k is virtually nothing for a single woman, in her mid-20’s, living in New York and working as a struggling writer. I think that makes up a decent percentage of people living in NYC and I’d guess that nearly all of them would take $16k in credit card debt as opposed to whatever they have now. With that in mind, all the drama and end-of-the-world tension in the film is directly attributed to that $16k number, which I couldn’t care less about. If they had made it $116k, then that would have been something to freak out about and maybe the rest of the movie would have had some justification.
Aside from that, we’re still left with a mediocre romantic comedy where everything in their world is super intense and overly dramatic. We as an audience never really relate to anything in the film seriously and the half-hearted attempts at humor or emotion go completely unfulfilled. All of the supporting cast is about as empty a character as you can write (or not write, as the case may be). Unfortunately, there’s not much positive to say about the film that managed to fail on virtually every level. Well, Isla Fisher was really cute in it…if that counts.