Confessions of a Shopaholic is a surprisingly poignant film mixed in with a lot of estrogen. That being said, yes it is a “chick flick” but, men, if you find yourselves being dragged into this movie, know that it’s really a funny film with more depth than you would expect. This film has two sides in it. It’s really great female, shopping movie and yet it also deals with addiction and digging yourself into a finical whole (something many of us can relate to). Although the latter is fluffed up so that a teenage audience can relate to it, the first part is not as cliche as it could have been due to the unique performance by Isla Fisher. No matter what the subject matter, she’s really great in this film and makes it worth watching.
What I like about Isla Fisher is that she’s not as “safe” as a Sandra Bullock type actress. This is her first starring role and she’s really rather wonderfully odd. Not in the “I’m in a romantic movie trying to play the odd character” she is just really zany. You can see moments where they really let her lose and the results are magical and one of a kind. The “fan dance” scene is a perfect example of how she is able to bring something completely new to the screen. She dances around like a peacock in season and seduces a man with a completely revolting dance. The scene felt so free as opposed to many other comedies. You could tell she wasn’t trying to be funny, she was just strutting her stuff and the results are hilarious.
When I think of other movies in this genre, this one is definitely at the top. I know a lot of people are calling it the next Sex in the City, but it’s really not because it has a sense of humor about itself and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Sex in the City tried to make it seem like there was more to shopping than their really is. This movie realizes how ridiculous it is to speed your like drooling over Prada. If anything I would compare this movie to Legally Blonde, because there are some solid life lessons in it. I for one was shocked when I heard them talking about the current budget deficit. That’s a big thing for a “shopping” movie. Could that have been Jerry Bruckheimer‘s influence? Or just a freak accident seeing this was based off the novels and written years ago?
Although this film was not without it’s faults. My biggest issue is at the end of the second act when everything has to fall apart in order to come back together again. I didn’t buy their dramatic device of “she’s in debt and now everyone hates her,” because I don’t see why a financing magazine would care if she was in debt. If she was selling as many stories as they said, they wouldn’t care about her personal life, they would care about the numbers. Hell, they are a financing magazine! They need to make money. So why the big secret? And why the big “I can’t believe you lied to me speech” when Hugh Dancy’s character finds out about it? You’ve been only somewhat dating this girl for a few weeks. I don’t reveal my credit card receipts on the first date, so I don’t know why she would. To me it seemed like a bit of a shoe-horned effect. Although, I do like a sweet somewhat cheesy happy ending, so I let them force feed me a little bit.
That being said, Isla Fisher is truly amazing and she is supported by a strong cast of John Goodman, Joan Cusack, Hugh Dancy, Kristin Scott Thomas, John Lithgow and more, which is quite an impressive list.
Confessions of a Shpaholic is in theaters starting today February 13, 2009. Let us know what you think of it!