Confessions Of A Shopaholic - DVD Review

'quickly we descend into the murky world of the fashionista where morals and manners don't really matter as long as you can swipe a good handbag at 50% off'
At the very start of Confessions Of A Shopaholic there's a monologue from our heroine Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) which perfectly positions the film: it's the vacuous muddled reality of Sex And The City but with SJP's moronic journalist recast, not as the girl-with-everything-who-still-finds-something-to-whine-about but as the girl-with-nothing-who-still-manages-to-buy-everything. Yes folks the moral of COAS is, 'don't worry about wracking up massive credit card debts because you can avoid the debt collector by making the world think he's a stalker'. OK, maybe a few steps skipped there but at least you've been forewarned.

Despite myself, at the start of COAS I actually laughed. Several times in fact. Isla Fisher manages to be a relative success as spendaholic Bloomwood basically because the writers have inserted some excellent co-stars to play off. Hugh Dancy as foppish English editor Luke Brandon is a particularly excellent, if stereotypical, piece of characterisation and Dancy has perfected the Hugh Grant school of awkward, yet authoritative, charm. Krysten Ritter too is a well chosen actor for the part of Fisher's best friend, the director and casting department obviously deciding to choke Fisher's niche 'cooky' elements by putting in someone even more cooky than she is. As a lead trio they really honestly do work and early on there are plenty of predictable laughs to be had.

But then quickly we descend into the murky world of the fashionista where morals and manners don't really matter as long as you can swipe a good handbag at 50% off. The film expects you to believe that Fisher/Bloomwood's (notice, they've started to merge into one) addiction to shopping is as bad or as acute as say, an addiction to drugs or drink, even going so far as to have the round table; 'my name's Bob and I'm a shopaholic' setup. It's preposterous and the amount that it's stolen from either Sex And The City (numerous stupid fashion setups, drunk girlfriend conversations), Ugly Betty (directly plucking Michael Urie's camp receptionist) and, predictably, every other rom-com under the sun must amount to something close to direct plagiarism.

And predictable it is. Not spoiling anything for those of you who want to rush out and buy this but the end is a rom-com ending to a 't'. Having said that, at least COAS does distinguish itself from other films in its genre by having an ending that is a particularly hard to swallow version of the catch-all wrap up. Bloomwood burns bridges on a near apocalyptic basis throughout the film, including two significant ones towards the end, but, true to form and like SATC before it, COAS proves that you can have your cake and eat it, so long as you've got five minutes at the end to tidy everything up. Avoids one star by the narrowest of margins.

1 comment:

  1. I actually enjoyed this one, never got around to reviewing it after I watched it but I thought it had some pretty decent qualities to it.