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Confessions Of A Shopaholic
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Reviewed on 2009-02-14
Received[3]  out of 4 stars
GenreComedy / Romance
Note: Two Movie Reviews submitted below for "Confessions of a Shopaholic" by Keith Cohen and Jolene.

Confessions of a Shopaholic
3 (Out of four)

Review by Keith Cohen, "The Movie Guy"

This sweet and endearing fashionista fairy tale is just what the doctor ordered to take our minds off the current economic crisis.

Australian director P.J. Hogan (“Muriel’s Wedding” and “My Best Friend’s Wedding”) brings energy and enthusiasm to this feel-good movie based on the international best-selling novels by Sophie Kinsella.

Petite, redhead Isla Fisher (“Wedding Crashers” and “Definitely, Maybe”) headlines the marquee as aspiring young Manhattan journalist Rebecca Bloomwood. This spunky heroine just can’t say “no” when it comes to buying designer label dresses, shoes, belts and handbags. The consequences of her excessive spending sprees come home to roost when the past due credit card bills (a staggering mountain of debt in excess of $16,000) arrive in the mail.

She and her roommate/best friend Suze (Krystan Ritter from “Gilmore Girls,” “27 Dresses” and “What Happens in Vegas”) drink shots of Tequila to numb the pain while opening the envelopes.

Becky pursues her dream job of writing for a fashion magazine, but ironically ends up being hired as a financial advice columnist for a sister publication. Her pseudonym is the “Girl in the Green Scarf.”

Hugh Dancy (“The Jane Austen Book Club” and TV mini-series “Elizabeth I”) plays Luke Brandon, the dashing and debonair editor of “Successful Savings.” They both have closely guarded secrets. This handsome eligible bachelor comes from a wealthy family. He is trying to make a living on his own. She lies to Luke about the persistent bill collector, explaining him away as a stalking ex-boyfriend.

This screwball romantic comedy is very funny. The screenplay has witty observations, clever sight gags (motion-capture store window mannequins) and madcap slapstick moments. One of the best lines in the movie describes how a store is so accommodating in pleasing its female customers: “You can’t take a man back for a refund if he doesn’t fit.”

Fisher carves out her own special niche with a sparkling personality, angelic eyes and a vivacious smile that will melt your heart. Her infectious joy, feminine charm and klutzy physicality will bring to mind fictional characters Bridget Jones and Vivian Ward (“Pretty Woman”) as well as the legendary Lucille Ball (“I Love Lucy”).

This role should accelerate Fisher’s acting career in the same way that “Enchanted” did for Amy Adams.

The behind-the-scenes co-star of this enterprise is Emmy Award-winning costume designer Patricia Fields (“Sex and the City” and “The Devil Wears Prada”), who wields a magic wand with brightly colored, fashionable wardrobes that are sexy, sleek and glamorous.

The supporting cast includes John Goodman (“Roseanne”), Joan Cusack (“Friends with Money”), Julie Hagerty (“Airplane”), John Lithgow (“3rd Rock from the Sun”), Kristin Scott Thomas (“The English Patient”), Wendie Malick (“Dream On” and “Just Shoot Me!”), Lynn Redgrave and former NBA star John Salley.

An eclectic soundtrack that includes “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” adds to the enjoyment. This uplifting guilty pleasure should make an impression on mothers and daughters about how fast bills can pile up from overuse of small plastic cards.

Confessions of a Shopaholic
3 Stars (Out of four)

Review by Jolene Mendez

With a failing economy what better way to address it then through a romantic comedy. “Confessions of a Shopaholic” is based on the novel by Sophie Kinsella and stars the adorable Isla Fisher as Rebecca Bloomwood, an aspiring journalist working her way up to her goal of writing for a fashion magazine. When she is terminated from her current job and realizes she has over $16K in debt her desperation for employment is kicked into high gear. She applies for a job with a New York City financial magazine, something she obviously knows nothing about. The interview of course is a difficult task, one that becomes even stickier when she actually gets the job.

When she receives her first assignment of writing an article about store APR’s she is stumped. Reading dummy books and goggling will not save her. Eventually she uses her shopping skills and disappointment in product to write an amazing article. With an overwhelming response to her words she creates quite a fan base and becomes known as the Girl in the Green Scarf. Rebecca becomes intrigued by her boss Luke (Hugh Dancy), who turns out to be a wealthy entrepreneur. The two immediately have sparks and although it takes sometime to develop, when it does the chemistry is undeniable. What happens to that connection when Luke learns that Rebecca not only knows nothing about finances, but that she is in debt and a shopaholic?

“Confessions of a Shopaholic” is a romantic comedy with a twist. We all have had or have credit debt and some of us hide it and are in complete denial. This is Rebecca Bloomwood’s life. Constantly avoiding the unknown number and ignoring the bills as they come in. Learning to say no I don’t really need those shoes now becomes her biggest task. Upon accepting the fact she has a problem she is able to pick up the pieces of her life and move on. Rebecca’s greatest revenge comes from getting back at her debt collector by paying off $9,000 in hand-delivered pennies. What a great idea! The love story did play backburner to the shopping, but when on screen with each other the duo ignited. Isla Fisher offered a pleasant lead performance. This is no Carrie Bradshaw for you, but comes pretty darn close. Get your best shoes on and enjoy a shopping spree that won’t hit your pocket book to hard.


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