Confessions of a ShopaholicRebecca Bloomwood is a young college graduate with aspirations of being a great fashion journalist but who for now is stuck in the little leagues, reporting on the mundane such as gardening expos and the such. She does however suffer a terrible affliction though – the all consuming desire to shop for high-end fashion, an addiction that is slowly but surely leaving her in a crippling state of personal debt, so much so that she has even now attracted the attention of the city’s most notorious debt collector!

But things are looking up for the ever optimistic Ms. Bloomwood, despite the fact that her first attempt at landing an interview at a top fashion magazine fails miserably – after all, she’s managed to land a job at a well known financial magazine instead, under the supervision of quite the charming and handsome editor it must be said! Of course the problem is, just how is someone only interested in fashion and in a pretty deep pit of debt herself, able to advise others on how to wisely manage their finances?

Oh, and then there is that niggling problem of her actual, ever increasing, debt to contend with too! (Never mind the talking shop front mannequins of course…)

Confessions of a Shopaholic is a 2009 romantic comedy adapted from the Shopaholic novels by Sophie Kinsella. The director for the project is P.J. Hogan (who has in the past scored hits with Muriel’s Wedding and My Best Friend’s Wedding) and stars a fairly young and energetic cast, including the likes of Isla Fisher as Rebecca Bloomwood, Hugh Dancy as Luke Brandon and Krysten Ritter as Suze. Also featured are Joan Cusack, John Goodman and John Lithgow in various supporting roles.

Let’s start off by saying that Confessions of a Shopaholic couldn’t be any more of a ‘by the numbers’, bland and completely generic romantic comedy if it tried. Despite some really enjoyable performances by all the actors involved, the story is just so generic and predictable that it’s silly, the pacing is just completely screwed up, the romance is incredibly forced, rushed and then lost, making it is completely ineffective in the process, and unfortunately the best bits of humour were pretty much already played out in the movie’s trailer.

However, all is not lost. Despite her tad annoying voice, Australian actress Isla Fisher (who is currently engaged to Sacha Baron Cohen, better known as Ali G) puts in a wonderfully likeable, quirky and fun comedic performance, while the incredibly charming and handsome Hugh Dancy (who you might recall from 2004’s King Arthur as Galahad, and even further back, as Nigel from Relic Hunter!) puts in a solid and sensible effort, acting as the perfect foil to Isla’s silliness. Krysten Ritter, Joan Cusack and John Goodman also put in some solid and entertaining performances and based on this alone, one can’t help but pity these great actors for having to deal with such a, quite frankly, crippling script and storyboard.

Another positive to mention is the brilliantly done special effects involving the talking mannequin sequences and the visuals crew certainly need to be complemented on such a wonderfully seamless meld of fantasy and reality. Also, the film enjoys a really fun, quirky and generally upbeat soundtrack, mixed in with a great original score courtesy of James Newton Howard, a fairly well known figure in the Hollywood behind the picture music scene.

In summary, Confessions of a Shopaholic really does have all the necessary ingredients for a great romantic comedy, including first and foremost some really great actor performances, but unfortunately the sheer predictability, blandness and extremely poor and jerky pacing completely destroys any romance or even message that the movie might have been trying to convey, making it a pretty dull affair that you probably won’t miss even if you never ever get around to seeing it.

So sorry guys, better luck next time.

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