Confessions of a Shopaholic Review
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Everybody has a weakness. Admit it—you know you do. For some, it’s food. For me, it’s books. But for Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) in the Americanized big-screen adaptation of Sophie Kinsella’s best-selling Confessions of a Shopaholic, it’s brightly-colored scarves and dresses and handbags and pretty, sparkly shoes that call to her from high-end department store windows. She just can’t seem to resist the latest fashions—no matter how pricey they may be.

When the gardening magazine she’s been working for folds, Rebecca suddenly finds herself unemployed—and $16,000 in debt to various credit card companies. Desperate to get a job writing for high-fashion mag Alette, she plans to work her way up by writing for Alette’s sister publication, Successful Savings—though that’s obviously something she knows nothing about. Still, her editor, Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy), takes a risk on her lovable real-person angle, and it pays off when Rebecca’s column is a runaway hit.

But as she tries to control her spending and bluff her way through her new job (while charming her cute new boss), Rebecca has one other pesky problem to deal with: Derek Smeath (Robert Stanton), the collection agent who’s stalking her every move.

From romance to shopaholic support groups to best friend troubles to credit card woes, there’s a whole lot going on in Confessions of a Shopaholic—and, at times, it seems to ramble on from one disaster to the next. Fortunately, though, Fisher takes it all in stride.

Becky Bloomwood is one of those characters who could have easily gone either way—unbearably dim-witted or lovably flighty—depending on the actress who played her. Thanks to Fisher, she’s generally the latter (much like Amy Adams as Giselle in Enchanted). Sure, she can’t control herself with her credit card. Sure, she’s kooky and clueless, and she sometimes goes a bit too far. But she’s just so darn cute that you can’t help but love her anyway.

Confessions of a Shopaholic is a bright and breezy romantic comedy—the story of one girl’s rocky relationship with her one true love: shopping. In a way, it’s like a twenty-something version of Sex and the City—only it’s not nearly as catty, and it’s whole a lot more honest. Unlike Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie, the Manolo-collecting (and apparently very well-paid) journalist whose credit card bills just magically pay themselves, Becky comes by her brand-name fashion the way most normal people do: by sinking deeper and deeper into unmanageable debt. She’ll beg, borrow, or just plain lie if that’s what it takes. Meanwhile, she dodges bill collectors while continuing to max out her stack of credit cards. Yet, in true chick flick form, she somehow manages to come out on top.

Even if you don’t have a weakness for bright green scarves with expensive labels, Confessions of a Shopaholic is just the thing for a night out with the girls. It’s fun and stylish, and (unlike your last shopping trip) it probably won’t max out your credit cards.

Blu-ray Review:
I’ll happily confess that, despite the fact that my own wardrobe is pretty low-key, I love the out-there fashions that Isla Fisher wears in Confessions of a Shopaholic—so I enjoyed the Blu-ray release’s exclusive extras. The six-part Behind the Fashion feature offers a closer look at the movie and its fashions, all in super-short snippets. From designer Patricia Field’s costume design process to the making of the sample sale scene (dubbed “the Braveheart of shopping”), it’s all here—in tiny, manageable nibbles. They’re all worth a few minutes of your time, but you’ll have to go through them one by one—because, for some reason, there isn’t a “play all” option.

In addition to a digital copy of the feature, the two-disc release also includes a blooper reel (with lots of giggling and dancing), three music videos (though, strangely enough, no video for “Blue Jeans,” the ridiculously catchy Jessie James track that plays on the menu screen), and four deleted scenes (for a good laugh, be sure to watch “19 Scarfity Scarf”). The release isn’t particularly loaded with features, but those it does have are quick and entertaining—and they’re well worth the few extra minutes it’ll take to watch them.

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