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Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 9.09%
Average: 4.55%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap86.36%

2 reviews, 10 user ratings

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Confessions of a Shopaholic
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by Jason Whyte

"Because the title Confessions of a Dangerous Mind was already taken."
1 stars

It has been years since I have been so thoroughly repulsed by a character in cinema as I have been with Isla Fisher’s monster of a character in “Confessions of a Shopaholic”, which somehow does the Herculean task of being a worse “Sex & The City” clone than the “Sex and the City” film itself. This stupid clunker of a motion picture has nothing new to say, attempts nothing resembling original and leaves you feeling dirtier than a fight in the woods with Jason Voorhees. Here is one film that you’ll find on my worst of the year list in December.

The gorgeous Isla Fisher plays Rebecca, a woman living in New York who has been so obsessed with purchasing things (mostly clothes) since childhood that as an adult she spends and spends until she racks up nearly $10,000 in debt. She wants nothing more than to work at a top fashion magazine that appears to only place its writers in fancy clothing and do interviews on morning talk shows. Instead of getting a writing gig at this magazine, she amazingly lands a job working for a lower level money mag under the same ownership, where the editor (Hugh Dancy) assigns her an article on how to control your finances. Cue the irony here.

Whoa whoa, let’s back up a second. Fisher walks into a money magazine looking like a reject from Legally Blonde and gets a job as a writer? If landing writing gigs were this easy you’d be seeing my byline in the New York Times. Rebecca screws up the whole interview in an oh-gosh-isn’t-it-cute way, and there’s an inexplicable part in this scene where Fisher reacts to an oversized male model poster hanging outside his office. The audience at my screening – read mostly snarky, popcorn munching teenage and young adult girls texting on their phone throughout – stopped Facebook updating for two seconds and went nuts with laughter at this sequence, mostly because Fisher was screaming manically in her oh-gosh-isn’t-it-cute way. Even while commuting home as I write this, I am at a loss to figure out why this scene was funny, let alone how.

But let’s get back to Rebecca. She is flat out a piece of work in this film. Rebecca makes mistakes, to be sure, but the film mistakenly takes her side, as the villain is instead a debt collector, also known as someone who is simply out to do his job. Devil’s advocate: say you were a well paid debt collector and someone you were checking in on was telling you that your mom died because she skydived without a parachute and kept ducking your phone calls with fake connection problems (she even sets her ringtone to “Do not answer this call, it’s a debt collector.” I wish I was making this up). It’s your job to collect the debt from someone who owes it. Would you do anything differently? Oh, and this collector is cast and dressed to be a miserable, trench-coat wearing office clone with a bad haircut and glasses, just to make sure you don’t like him. Nothing the debt collector did in this film was out of line; even in a later scene where he accosts her on a morning television show, I was nodding my head in agreement. You rock that mic, sir!

Rebecca doesn’t learn anything in the film. She starts taking shoppers anonymous meetings yet continues to shop (most of which involves fighting with other consumerist bitches at sample sales). She lies to her editor and tells her the debt collector is really a stalker. And her emergency means of financial support is to keep a credit card in a block of ice in the freezer. At the pivotal scene where desperate times call for desperate measures, Fisher takes out the block of ice and throws it all over her apartment to break it apart. Wouldn’t simply thawing it in the sink with some running warm water do the trick? (Don’t you dare email me and tell me that wouldn’t be funny…they could have had her pawing for the card as the ice melted. That would be pure comedic gold right there.)

Back in 2004, I recall seeing Brittany Murphy in this terrible film called “Little Black Book” where her character was a monster working her way up the ladder that was not too much unlike Fisher’s character in this film. She is not that much better, resorting to terrorizing other people to get what she wants, lying to get out of trouble and in the end, she gets the editor of her magazine in a romantic plot that comes out of nowhere. And to make matters worse, since she buys pretty clothes, Rebecca gets back a pivotal scarf that cost her $120 but sells at an auction for three times that amount. A green scarf that cost $120. My aunt could knock you off one of those for five bucks and some change.

It’s a stroke of amazement that P.J. Hogan directed this, a filmmaker who has made very good films like “Muriel’s Wedding” and “My Best Friend’s Wedding” in the 90’s. He even did an adaptation of “Peter Pan” that nobody saw in 2003, yet I liked. Aside from the boy who could fly, these are stories about real people in real situations, and where comedy develops out of character. Here’s a film where you could tell he was clearly in it for the money, or perhaps to get out of a picture deal with Disney. I can’t for a second believe he would side with Rebecca or the bankrupt morals of its lead characters. What was he thinking?

In the end, the only thing that I took from this miserable imitation for a motion picture that Isla Fisher is one striking, gorgeous woman. Her long, flowing red locks of hair, the adorable smile and great personality is extremely well photographed in this movie and no doubt that even with this strike on her resume she will carry her far in this industry. Loved her in Wedding Crashers, The Lookout and even as the hapless girlfriend in Hot Rod. Not here. No way. I can’t see anyone but ignorant teenage girls falling for this pabulum, because likely they’re sympathizing with Rebecca. I mean, how DARE some debt collector get in her way of pushing aside others?

I repeat: in the end, she gets her fucking scarf back.

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originally posted: 06/07/09 14:57:59
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User Comments

4/25/18 Louise Quite Frankly, it's an insult to the absolutely brilliant novel. 1 stars
1/20/10 Mohammad Mirza not amazing or whatever but REALLY fun, was fully entertained 4 stars
12/16/09 A Girl this wasn't great but it was far from being 'horrible' 3 stars
11/29/09 Cat Loved the books, but this film is witless and a waster of time. 1 stars
7/31/09 This movie sucks Burn this shallow, worthless piece of crap. 1 stars
2/20/09 Anonymous. wow this movie is really underrated. it's a good chick flick. :/ 4 stars
2/19/09 Monster W. Kung If you like this movie, you're everything that's wrong in today's world. 1 stars
2/15/09 Rio Timely: the worst finance-related movie ever in the worst financial crisis in our lifetime. 1 stars
2/14/09 me this "movie" isnt even worth an interview.obnoxious and shallow. Hated it!!!! 1 stars
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  13-Feb-2009 (PG)
  DVD: 23-Jun-2009


  DVD: 23-Jun-2009

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