Shopaholic story falters, Fisher's performance charms

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Scene from Confessions of a Shopaholic

Gazette File Photo

TO HELL WITH IT — I’M GOING SHOPPING. Isla Fisher delights with her comedic performance in the otherwise lacklustre adaptation of Sophie Kinsella’s Confessions of a Shopaholic books.

Confessions of a Shopaholic
Directed by: P.J. Hogan
Starring: Isla Fisher, Joan Cusack, John Goodman

4 stars

Most high-end designer clothing stores along the streets of Manhattan are good at getting pedestrians to turn their heads and peer through its shiny windows. But for Rebecca Bloomwood (Fisher), the Successful Savings journalist " and main character of Confessions of a Shopaholic " turning a head just won’t cut it; she needs to walk into that store and buy something. Whether it’s a beautiful silk scarf or a pair of half-price designer shoes, Becky is sure to arrive home with shopping bags on her arms. The big surprise though, is that Becky doesn’t even have the money to endlessly spend.

One day, as Becky struggles to buy a $120 scarf with at least six different credit cards, she manages to score a 20-dollar bill from her hero of the moment, and eventual romantic interest, Luke Brandon.

While the film is centred on Becky struggling to pay off her debt, it is her comedic performance, rather than the storyline, that steals the show.

Fisher " known for her performance in Wedding Crashers " produces even greater laughs for the audience in almost every scene. Memorable scenes such as sharpening her pencil during a board meeting and dancing like a maniac are moments that cannot go unnoticed " it’s scenes like these that certainly drove the narrative. The weak storyline and the predictable clichéd romance certainly paled in comparison to her performance.

The film is based on the bestselling series of the same name written by Sophie Kinsella. Like with many adapted screenplays, audiences should be prepared for major differences. The film takes place in Manhattan, for instance, while in the Shopaholic series Becky is born in England and doesn’t arrive in Manhattan until the second novel. This is a bit surprising seeing as Fisher, born in Australia, currently lives in England and could’ve pulled off the Brit lead character.

In the end, audiences can only applaud Becky as she realizes that there’s a smarter way to spend your money than blowing it all on the next designer sale.

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