Confessions of a Shopaholic P.J. Hogan

Confessions of a Shopaholic P.J. Hogan
While many will complain over the timing in releasing a film about frivolous consumption during an economic crisis, the real question is whether it is ever appropriate to release such a brain dead, superficial movie. That's right, Confessions of a Shopaholic is yet another film about a retarded bimbo who finds success through her very ability to articulate the importance of inconsequential crap while never forgetting the importance of designer shoes and well placed cleavage. It makes Pretty Woman look empowering.

Based on Sophie Kinsella's books Confessions of a Shopaholic and Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, littered with shoal, Carrie Bradshaw-like voiceovers and drenched in an excess of pinks and reds, the film examines the struggles of flaky journalist Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) as she hypocritically writes about smart shopping while hiding over $16,000 in credit card debt.

In between catfights and surreal shopping sequences, Rebecca dreams of working for Alette Naylor (Kristin Scott Thomas), whose glossy fashion rag Alette is apparently the cat's meow for the surface obsessed, but winds up as a journalist for the less glamorous Successful Savings, where she meets hunky editor Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy).

Anyone curious to find out if the cinematically stereotypical single gal can find both love and success in the big bad world should refer to every other movie within this genre for enlightenment, as there are no surprises here.

Perhaps if slightly more energy had been invested in the message that an addiction to shopping is the moral equivalent of screwing a stranger in a parking lot for temporary self-esteem, rather than the sheer zaniness of animatronic mannequins and kooky collection agents, this lark could pass as popcorn entertainment.

As it stands, Shopaholic proves to be the fleeting material goods that it criticizes, and is far from making a lifetime of putting on fake smiles for vapid sycophants worthwhile. (Buena Vista)