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Confessions Of A Shopaholic (PG)
Confessions Of A Shopaholic is the right film in the right place at the wrong time.
With credit well and truly crunched, and our belts tightened to the point of cutting off the nation’s monetary circulation, it’s hard to muster sympathy for a spend-happy, romantic comedy heroine who is undone by her passion for shopping.
She juggles 12 credit cards, racking up huge debts, yet somehow still clings onto her apartment, her dream job, Mr Right and the love of family and friends.
The message of PJ Hogan’s movie is simple: greed is bad, but will never get in the way of a beautiful young woman getting her fairy-tale ending.
Adapted from the books The Secret Dreamworld Of A Shopaholic and Shopaholic Abroad by Sophie Kinsella, this bouncy romp follows one fun-loving girl’s journey of self-discovery in New York City, where designer couture is always one swipe of a credit card away.
Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) is a journalist with a singular dream: to work for fashion bible Alette and its ultra-stylish French editor, Alette Naylor (Kristin Scott Thomas).
Unfortunately, the job she wants is nabbed by bitchy staffer Alicia Billington (Leslie Bibb) so Rebecca decides to climb the corporate ladder by landing a job instead at sister magazine, Successful Saving, under the new direction of charismatic editor, Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy).
Rebecca’s quirky interpretation of financial journalism in a column entitled The Girl With The Green Scarf is like a breath of fresh air and the magazine’s stagnant sales sky rocket.
However, there is a dark secret, which Rebecca is keeping from Luke, her colleagues and even her parents (John Goodman and Joan Cusack): she is a shopaholic and has maxxed out all of her credit cards.
The situation is so desperate, debt collector Derek Smeath (Robert Stanton) has been hired to recover the money owed.
Flanked by roommate Suze (Krysten Ritter), Rebecca spins a web of lies to hide the truth but Smeath slowly closes in on his prey.
Confessions Of A Shopaholic is an entertaining piece of fluff, which proves morality is invariably stampeded under the feet of shoppers who smell a bargain.
Fisher is luminous in the lead role, oozing sweetness and charm and demonstrating impeccable comic timing, especially in a dance floor sequence where her hilarious, virtuoso performance with a handheld fan has to be seen to be disbelieved.
Dancy bumbles and blusters his way through a role that would fit Hugh Grant like a snug, cashmere glove while Cusack and Goodman bring an eccentricity and warmth to their caring parents.
Hogan’s film doesn’t outstay its welcome and as long as Isla is on screen, goofing around, we’re happy to be sold this cheap and cheerful fantasy