Film review: Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009), directed by PJ Hogan
Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) grew up to a couple of very frugal parents (Joan Cusack and John Goodman). As a result, she’s now a shopaholic. Because … she’s a bit of an airhead? She’s working for a gardening magazine, but wants to work for a big fashion magazine.
However, when she goes for the interview the position has already been filled … but she tries for a job at another magazine in the same family: a financial magazine, run by handsome Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy). By a stroke of luck she lands the job and becomes a columnist, “the Girl with the Green Scarf”, and she becomes a huge success.
Little does Luke and everyone else – except best friend and flatmate Suze (Krysten Ritter) – know that she’s actually being chased by a debt collector (Robert Stanton) because of continuously overspending on her multitude of credit cards. But will she stop spending? Nah, living way beyond your means is … cute and kooky?
Also featuring Kristin Scott Thomas as Alette Naylor and John Lithgow as Edgar West.
I’m clearly not the target audience here, that’s for sure. If I was, I would’ve probably identified to some degree with Rebecca, instead of thinking her to be an obnoxious ditz who needs therapy. When you consider when it came out, in the midst of a massive recession … it just becomes distasteful.
As a romantic comedy it’s not particularly funny, and while it has a romance story in it, it’s not the main plot of the film. That would be Rebecca and her over-spending, and I really can’t sympathise with her there – I mean, come on … Have you really got no clue about how much you’re earning and how much you’re spending? Guess not. Sad, really.
Considering she grew up with a couple of penny-pinchers, it seems unlikely that she became that unaware of personal finances. And why would a financial magazine hire someone to write about cashmere coats anyway?
There are people who genuinely have issues with chronic, pathological overspending and who genuinely need help. This film isn’t on their side – it even makes a point of poking fun at support groups. Great news for those who actually have this problem in real life?
So yeah, you could say that the film wasn’t to my taste. Not just because I have no idea why on earth you’d want to spend $120 on a scarf and thousands in total on shoes, handbags and clothes. One of the first things she should’ve done when she struggled was to return items and try to sell them. Not one of the last. Ho hum.
2 out of 5 charity shops.