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Confessions of a Shopaholic

There may be a REAL credit crunch going on, but this nonstop laughing spree is worth the price of a ticket.


Rebecca Bloomfield (Isla Fisher) is a big-spending but cash-poor shopaholic who has dreams of working for her favorite fashion magazine but ironically is given a job as a columnist for a financial magazine from the same publisher. Of course, not being the perfect candidate to dole out advice on managing money, she butts heads with her good-looking but work-obsessed editor (Hugh Dancy) until, this being a romantic comedy, the sparks start flying between them. Her efforts to conquer her addictions, hit her fashion career goals and find love and contentment carry this lightweight concoction.


Confessions is worth the ride if only to establish Fisher as a comic star in her own right. So good in supporting roles in movies like Wedding Crashers, she gets to shine, showing humor, heart and chutzpah as a girl who never met a credit card she didn't like. She turns a character who could have been gratingly annoying into someone even the non-shopaholics in the audience can easily identify with and root for. Dancy is a great foil and perfect opposite in the great tradition of romantic comedies going back to the '30s and '40s. A raft of familiar faces also turn up amusingly including John Lithgow as the magazine magnate, John Goodman and Joan Cusack as Rebecca's loopy parents and the wonderful Kristin Scott Thomas as a somewhat clueless French fashion editor. But pay special attention to newcomer Krysten Ritter as Fisher's moneybags roommate.


Australian P.J. Hogan certainly has shown a penchant for this kind of comedy, first with the sleeper hit Muriel's Wedding and then the Julia Roberts smash, My Best Friend's Wedding. He knows when to tone it down and go for heart, which is key to making a broad comedy like this work overall. The film also makes New York terrific, Technicolored, bright and inviting. It helps that the bestselling books by Sophie Kinsella on which the script is based provide such smart core material. Whether timing in the current economic crisis is right for a movie about an upscale shopaholic is beside the point. Clearly, this is more fantasy now than ever, and that's probably all good.

Bottom Line rated this film 3 stars.