Movie Review

Confessions of a Shopaholic

All she ever wanted was a little credit...
Confessions of a Shopaholic Movie Poster

US Release Date: 02-13-2009

Directed by: P.J. Hogan


  • Isla Fisher
  • Rebecca Bloomwood
  • Hugh Dancy
  • Luke Brandon
  • Krysten Ritter
  • Suze
  • Joan Cusack
  • Jane Bloomwood
  • John Goodman
  • Graham Bloomwood
  • John Lithgow
  • Edgar West
  • Kristin Scott Thomas
  • Alette Naylor
  • Fred Armisen
  • Ryan Koenig
  • Leslie Bibb
  • Alicia Billington
  • Lynn Redgrave
  • Drunken Lady at Ball
  • Robert Stanton
  • Derek Smeath
  • Julie Hagerty
  • Hayley
  • Nick Cornish
  • Tarquin
  • Wendie Malick
  • Miss Korch
Average Stars:
Reviewed on: February 16th, 2009
Isla Fisher deserves all the credit for what is good about this movie.

Isla Fisher deserves all the credit for what is good about this movie.

Confessions of a Shopaholic is a lightweight chick flick with Isla Fisher in the lead. Her cute and bubbly charm is the best part of this movie. Apart from her the rest is fairly generic and unoriginal. It's just entertaining enough to keep you from being bored, but there's very little that you'll remember from it apart from Isla.

Rebecca Bloomwood is the shopaholic of the title. Shopping is her greatest joy and acts like a drug on her, making her positively orgasmic. Because of this addiction she racks her credit cards up to over $16,000. A problem that's exasperated when the magazine she works for closes down. She ends up working for a financial magazine ironically called Successful Saving. This is the slimmest plot point in the movie. Somehow she not only lands a job writing for a magazine on topics which she has no understanding, but her pieces are cutesy fluff pieces designed to be easily digested by people who have no knowledge or interest in finance. Naturally her boss is rich, handsome and charming. And naturally he falls in love with her. But will her financial bad practices lead to emotional bankruptcy in the stock market of love? I'm sure you don't need a Stock Broker to tell you the answer to that.

The whole cast of the movie is sweet and fluffy, like cotton candy, and just as substantial. No one is given any real depth, even Rebecca. The problem with her is that while they say she's in major debt and a shopaholic, they also make shopping look like so much fun and debt without serious consequences, that whatever message it might be trying to convey, it fails to deliver it.

Despite my reservations and lack of depth to the movie, Isla is so infectiously cute and chirpy that you end up rooting for and liking her. She has a comic charm that works and helps the material rise above its rather standard chick flick, romantic comedy plot and sitcom situations.

Clearly I wasn't the target audience for this movie, but I've seen a few chick flick in my time that I've managed to enjoy and that's mainly because the writers throw a few bones to the men in the audience. No such concessions are made here. It's aiming for women of shopping age with a low balance on their movie requirements credit card.

Reviewed on: July 11th, 2009
Luke speaks Prada.

Luke speaks Prada.

I have noticed that many women find shopping to be a religious experience. Men shop when they need or want something. They get in and get out. Women like to browse. They often wander stores waiting for something to jump out at them. On many occassions I have seen a single woman block an entire aisle by standing in front of merchandise, comparing brands and prices, while her shopping cart blocks the rest of the aisle, oblivious to the fact that several people wish to walk by, if only she would put her cart beside her. Women clip coupons and wait for sales. They plan how and when they will shop. They not only spend large amounts of money but huge amounts of time on shopping.

With such a fertile subject, this movie never really gets that funny. It stays focused on a single woman who lives to buy things. "When I shop, the world gets better, and the world is better, but then it's not, and I need to do it again." Using shopping as a metaphor for drugs is only good for a couple of laughs. It should have milked the aspect of women shopping as a sport or in contrast to how men shop. "A man will never love you or treat you as well as a store. If a man doesn't fit, you can't exchange him seven days later for a gorgeous cashmere sweater."

This movie never takes it's jokes far enough. I bet everyone knows someone who has thousands of dollars of credit card debt. $16,000 is not enough to generate a laugh, let alone even create sympathy. The past two Presidents have gotten us into trillions of dollars in debt. Rebecca's credit card problems seem more like an American tradition than a reason to worry. Or as her dad tells her, "Your mother and I think that if the American economy can be billions in debt and still survive, so can you."

The only time this movie takes things to a new level is when Rebecca thinks the mannequins come to life to tempt her into making another purchase. Not only is that not funny, but it makes for an excuse as to why she cannot control herself. Isla Fisher is adorable, but that does not make for funny. For a movie that is supposed to show the absurdity of some shoppers, it really goes easy on her, and thus the movie never reaches the heights it could have.