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Confessions of a Shopaholic (Two-Disc Special Edition + Digital Copy) - romantic comedy DVD review
CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC (TWO-DISC SPECIAL EDITION + DIGITAL COPY) Rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 1/2 stars
Featuring: Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy, Joan Cusack, Kristin Scott Thomas, John Lithgow
Director: P.J. Hogan   Distributor: Touchstone Home Entertainment
DVD release: 23 June 2009   Runtime: 104 minutes
(2 discs)
Format: AC-3, Color, Content/Copy-Protected CD, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen

DVD features: Aspect ratio 2.40:1, Audio (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - English, Spanish, Frenchy), Subtitles (English for the Hearing Impaired, Spanish, French), Bloopers, Deleted scenes, "Stuck with Each Other" Music video by Shontelle featuring Akon

Confessions of a Shopaholic is based on the Sophie Kinsella novel of the same title. Ahead of its release in February of 2009, many moviegoers were wildly enthusiastic about its debut after the rave reviews the book received over the past few years. Rebecca Bloomwood is a favorite protagonist of Kinsella's Shopaholic books, and the opportunity to see her brought to life in film piqued the excitement of a good many fans.

Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) is a recent college graduate with a witty flair to her journalism articles. Currently working a filler job that barely meets the rent, let alone underwriting her painfully expensive shopaholic nature, her days of toiling away are soon to be over. She is scheduled to interview at the ultimate fashion magazine and can obviously do nothing but succeed in getting the position. But fate has a way of throwing wrenches in the best-laid plans, and Rebecca's are thrown way out of whack. Shopaholic that she is, Rebecca gets waylaid in purchasing the most perfectly beautiful green scarf to "look" the part for the interview. With her finances a complete disaster, she ends up begging $50 off a guy, Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy), through a big lie in order to purchase the scarf. Here is where fate takes over.

After a muddled and unexpected interview for a finance magazine - with none other than Luke Brandon - she manages to find employment. Her journalism objective is to give financial advice to the normal world in a witty way that the average person can understand. How ironic! Rebecca is the least capable person of handling personal finances with a nasty shopping addiction that has her $15,000 in debt, skipping rent payments, and avoiding debt collectors for the excessive number of credit cards she has maxed out over the limit. But.a job is a job and money is money, both of which she needs desperately.

After some coaching from Brandon on the functioning of the larger companies in the mighty financial world, Rebecca is on her own to impress her new boss with a witty piece on what she's just learned. As any good writer knows, it's always best to write about what you know. As she mulls over a recent purchase and finds some serious issues with false claims about the product, her article is born, as is "The Girl in the Green Scarf."

"The Girl in the Green Scarf" becomes an overnight phenomenon, throwing Rebecca on the journalism fast track and into closer acquaintance with Brandon. Her dream high-fashion magazine is taking note of her, and she's a hit with everyone she meets. But just as her career and relationship are starting to look great, the demons of her addiction begin to follow her like stink on a skunk. If she can't manage to get herself under control, speak the truth to those she cares about, and do what needs to be done to get her finances out of the red, all her life has become will be destroyed.

Sophie Kinsella did a marvelous job in creating this crazy character that undoubtedly connects, at least in some small way, with a gigantic portion of the nation's population, both female and male. Our obsession with stuff, name brands, and living beyond our means testifies to the lifestyles that have brought our economy and our households to their knees. Seeing a lighthearted film about the painful process of realization many go through when they can't hide their sad financial secrets from the world any longer is a joy. While the pain and misery of such experiences are never joyful, the reminder in Graham Bloomwood's (John Goodman) message sums up the aura of the film: "Your mother and I think that if the American economy can be billions in debt and still survive, so can you."

The film has its lagging moments with monotonous scenes and humor that is more ridiculous than funny. Isla Fisher and Hugh Dancy, however, are a great duo onscreen and bring vibrancy to the picture where writing is otherwise dull. There's enough comedy and decent acting and writing to keep interest alive, and eventually the momentum of the film took off. With performers like John Goodman, Joan Cusack, and Kristin Scott Thomas filling in on some of the more serious roles, the casting mix draws viewers' interest across several generations. Unfortunately, less is seen of these big names than one might like, but should there be a sequel; hopefully their roles will find more of a place in the overall picture. Ultimately, the film is a success, though it may lack when compared to Sophie Kinsella's fantastic novel.
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reviewed by Sonia R. Polinsky
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