Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gotham Gal Movie Review: Confessions of a Shopaholic

Last night I finally sat down to watch the film version of Sophie Kinsella's novel Confessions of a Shopaholic starring Isla Fisher as Rebecca Bloomwood and Hugh Dancy as her love interest Luke Brandon. Let me say straight up that I absolutely dislike the Shopaholic novels. A friend loaned me the first one and I found it mildly amusing and I was glad that in the end Rebecca had learned the lesson about being in debt. That is until I picked up the second book, Shopaholic Takes Manhattan and discovered that Rebecca was back up to her old tricks. I didn't finish that one, but I did read The Shopaholic gets Married, probably because I had nothing to read at the time, and a friend loaned me her copy. My biggest problem with these books is that I find Rebecca to be an idiot. After awhile her problems ceased to be funny to me.

Well, I have to say that I enjoyed the movie more than I did the books and that probably has to do with Isla Fisher's performance which I found adorable. And although Hugh Dancy looked nothing like the picture of Luke Brandon I had in my head, I liked him enormously. Plus he is very good at playing the straight man to a leading actress who is a little bit ditzy. What I liked about this movie is that Rebecca had some personal growth. They changed the storyline considerably from the books. In the first book Rebecca already works for Successful Savings magazine, and meets Luke Brandon when she attends a press conference held by Brandon Communications. In the film, Rebecca wants to work for Allette magazine, which is a fashion magazine. When she arrives for the interview, she finds out that the position has been filled (The receptionist in the lobby actually tells her that position has been filled which I found hilarious). She stumbles into an interview at Successful Savings magazine and botches it. That night she gets drunk with her friend Suze and writes an article about shoes that she plans on sending to Allette. Unfortunately she mixes up that letter with a kiss-off letter she had planned on sending to Successful Savings. Luke Brandon loves the article and she gets a job at his magazine.

There are some hilarious scenes like when Luke Brandon catches Rebecca using Google to look up how to write an angle for an article or when she's shopping for books on finances at the local Borders. Loved the mannequins talking to Rebecca trying to convince her to buy clothing. And the scenes at the Shopaholics Anonymous meetings are great as well. What's less successful is the sub-plot of a beautiful blonde bitch Alicia Billington who tries to ruin Rebecca's relationship with Luke. Rebecca learns the error of her ways when she is publicly humiliated on television by Derek Smeath (who goes above and beyond the call of duty as a collection agent). And her friend Suze finds out that she donated her bridesmaid dress to a charity shop. Rebecca turns down her dream job, and finally learns the value of money, ending up with Luke after all.

My only quibbles were that even though the film was shot in New York, it didn't feel like it was shot in New York. I wanted to see Rebecca shopping at Barney's, Bloomingdale's or even Macy's. There is a scene shot at a sample sale but how cooler it would have been if it had been at the Barney's sample sale.

I give this film a C+

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