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Confessions of a Shopaholic – Isla Fisher at her very best
You may be wondering what a 33 year old man is doing watching a blatant chick flick like Confessions of a Shopaholic
What would inspire a lone man
to walk into a cinema and ask for one lonesome ticket of the aforementioned movie? Was it the promise of Isla fisher playing another ditzy character whilst simultaneously appreciating the buoyancy of all that is?
Well no.....perhaps a little. The true reason for watching this improbable film (leading to an improbable review is that I am sitting here (like the rest of the world) patiently awaiting the release of Watchmen
. I do so hate it when that happens. In fact as a distraction, I deliberately chose a film which is a polar opposite to Zack Snyder’s Watchmen
. Hence, Confessions of a Shopaholic was seen (and is presently reviewed). What I did not expect though, is the fact that it was pretty darn good!
Struggling with her debilitating obsession with shopping and the sudden collapse of her income source, Rebecca Bloomwood unintentionally lands a job writing for a financial magazine after a drunken letter-mailing mix-up. Ironically writing about the very consumer caution of which she herself has not abided, Rebecca's innovative comparisons and unconventional metaphors for economics grants her critical acclaim, public success, and the admiration of her supportive boss Luke. But as she draws closer to her ultimate goal of writing for renowned fashion magazine Alette, she questions her true ambitions and must determine if overcoming her "shopaholic" condition will bring her real happiness.
With Isla Fisher in her first lead role you imagine that she would feel uncomfortable. It seems not though as within five minutes you are enjoying the endless amounts
that she is so very good at. It is strange though that with her and Hugh Dancy (an individual who looks like a cheaper, younger Colin Firth
) as the romantic couple
, she is accompanied by a rather eclectic range of actors and actresses including: John Goodman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Joan Cusack and John Lithgow. Strangely though, these more noticeable actors take a back seat to Fisher’s shopping antics and they are better for it.
The fact is Confessions of a Shopaholic does not sound like a funny or unique film. In fact if you were British it sounds very much like the very saucy “Confessions of a Window Cleaner” series; and altogether a very different group of films. Instead it follows the path of a woman struggling with an addiction to shopping. It seems that she is continuously accompanied by nightmarish mannequins and a best friend who manages to help Fisher avoid the dreaded debt collector (the perfectly cast Robert Stanton).
So how can a film about debt be so enjoyable? Well Fisher is charming as Rebecca Bloomwood. This is a character that could have come across as selfish and seems to avoid it thanks to her “bury her head in the sand” attitude. I’m sure that if I ever came across a real life shopaholic I would suddenly feel the urge to slap them for spoiling the scenery with labels that go out of fashion as soon as they are uttered out loud.
Let us not claim that Confessions of a Shopaholic will give us any surprises as you could imagine the storyline from the “copy and pasted” synopsis above and fill in the blanks appropriately. What you will not experience though, is the fun in the journey it takes. Just as you expect it to continue on one path, it takes you in a slightly different one. I defy any one person to come up with a better reaction for complete loneliness in the subtleties of Fisher’s face as her best friend gets married. She speaks volumes in just one look than many other “actors” could in their whole career.
On the whole Isla Fisher has proven that she certainly can take the lead role. Unfortunately perhaps the dynamic between her and the male lead was a little stale to say the least and its enjoyment factor diminished somewhat. However since a grumpy 33 year old man is not its target audience and it still managed to be comical enough to entertain and enjoyable enough to sit through, I imagine it could be appreciated by most.
It is regrettable that Confessions of a Shopaholic was not as much of a love story as it could have been. However this does not mean it wasn’t heartfelt. This was due to Isla Fisher’s performance as Rebecca Bloom and I would hope that someone could pick up on that talent. She certainly saved the film from being a complete mess. Her performance alone makes this film worth it. Does this mean she did well in her first major lead role? Oh yes.
I enjoyed this immensely. Is it because I was expecting it to suck bananas? Probably. In fact I would imagine that in this week, Confessions of a Shopaholic is one film that actually exceeds my expectations rather than not even achieve them.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5