The Collegian
Saturday, July 04, 2020

Movie Review: 'Confessions of a Shopaholic'


(Pictured) Isla Fisher

Ph:Robert Zuckerman
"CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC" (Pictured) Isla Fisher Ph:Robert Zuckerman

Grade: C-

Starring: Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy, Krysten Ritter, Joan Cusack, John Goodman, John Lithgow, Kristin Scott Thomas.

Moral of the story: You can hide your credit card bills and debt collection notices under a pretty, sparkly sample sale coat. Then, every person you've ever known will help you get out of debt, you'll fall in love and you'll continue to live in a really nice and relatively spacious New York apartment with your best friend and her boyfriend (who are never seen working). Wait ... didn't I say this story has a moral? I meant to say this fairytale doesn't have one.

What's happening here?

Isla Fisher plays a young journalist who aspires to work for New York's premier fashion magazine, Alette. Strapped for cash and out of work, she lands a job at a financial magazine where she creates the savior column for the struggling publication -- which is called "The Girl in the Green Scarf" -- all to give her the chance of landing her dream job.

Sounds too good to be true, right?

Oh yeah, and she is also swimming in credit card debt. Did I mention that in the synopsis? Did I mention that she receives enough notices that it takes her and her roommate a whole evening to go through them and count how much she owes? Did I mention that to pay for the green scarf, she tries charging it to at least seven different credit cards, and gets denied? But, you know, debt doesn't have any consequences, especially not when you just use fire escapes to avoid the debt collectors.

Collectors, they're all new at their jobs and wouldn't know to look around the corner at the side of a building -- and you can tell your new boss that the collector is actually a stalker. Finally, everyone she's ever known -- no seriously, everyone -- has to help Fisher get enough money to pay the credit cards off. Additionally, the romance in this flick appears from nowhere and is so pathetic that you don't even see her fall for the guy. Instead, you see her pummel other shopaholics to the ground and dance awkwardly and then ... and then ... hey, wait. They just kissed. Oh ... so they like each other now? Cool? Not really.

And then, I was confronted with the fact that I've met plenty of New Yorkers in my life -- and my parents still live there -- and only a handful have been as helpful as these people turn out to be. Also, of all the New Yorkers I've known, few have been as quirky and interesting as the WHOLE CAST OF CHARACTERS in this film. Everyone is an exaggerated version of only two or three humans I've ever met -- which, if you haven't figured out, makes them unrelatable.

Why it gets a C-:

This is a sugarcoated, Candyland version of a poorly told fairytale. Being thousands of dollars in debt isn't so bad. I can accidentally land a job when I don't have any experience. A stick insect can wear a slinky dress and weigh seven pounds and she can have a weak rivalry with Fisher and call that conflict. I can get the clothing store price for the stuff in my closet. Everyone I meet is a caricature of a real person -- and not a good one like in "Penelope" (another movie with Christina Ricci that isn't about shopaholics, but is still a better fairytale than this). Fisher -- the queen and one of the best parts of Wedding Crashers -- deserves better. So do all the other great actors in this flick.

If you're looking for a chick flick with pretty colors, quirky characters, but zero depth, this film is definitely for you.

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