Thursday, January 30, 2014

Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009) [PG] ***

Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) is a charming but scatterbrained twenty-something who lives with her best friend Suze (Krysten Ritter) in a trendy New York City neighborhood. When Rebecca was a little girl, she watched older girls shop with magic plastic cards, and she came to believe in the magic as well. Now, whenever Rebecca discovers a wonderful new store, her heart melts, like butter sliding over hot toast. Rebecca is a shopaholic, hopelessly addicted to the thrill of shopping; with twelve maxed-out credit cards, she's accumulated sixteen thousand dollars of debt.

Rebecca works as a journalist, but when her magazine folds she decides to pursue her dream of working for Alette fashion magazine, but through a mail mix-up she's offered a job writing a column for Successful Saving, a personal finance magazine owned by the same company. Her manager, handsome Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy) has confidence in Rebecca, and practically overnight, her column becomes wildly popular and she becomes something of a celebrity. Despite her secret attendance at Shopaholics Anonymous, Rebecca's shopping addiction hasn't gone away, nor has her growing debt. Worse, a weasel-like collection agent threatens to expose her, destroying her career and her budding romance with Luke.

Based on the book by Sophie Kinsella, and directed by P.J. Hogan (My Best Friend's Wedding), this is a light, frothy, fantasy romantic comedy with far more comedy than romance; it feels like Legally Blonde meets The Devil Wears Prada but without the creative screenwriting found in either one. While Isla Fisher brings the same adorable, energetic effervescence to her role that she displayed in Wedding Crashers and Definitely, Maybe, the story line is just too fantastical to believe, there's little growth and development in Fisher's character, and almost no romantic chemistry between Fisher and Dancy; in addition, the outstanding supporting cast of Joan Cusack, John Goodman (as Rebecca's parents), Kristin Scott Thomas (Alette) and John Lithgow (the publisher) are simply wasted. The target audience for this film is probably teenage girls; more critical viewers should pass. 

Labels: comedy, romance   
Internet Movie Database    
Metacritic 38/100    
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=44, viewers=64)    

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