Shopaholics flock to ‘Confessions’

Sara Schlueter

Based on the best selling novel by Sophie Kinsella, “Confessions of a Shopaholic” centers around one young woman’s obsession with shopping in a lighthearted and slightly humorous way. Set in New York City, the main character Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher), is a struggling journalist who must find a way to get out of her massive credit card debt yet still pay for her insatiable appetite for clothes. She eventually lands a job at Smart Savings, a financial magazine (quite ironic), and meets the handsome editor Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy).

“Confessions of a Shopaholic” mixes together ideas from the films “Legally Blonde” and “The Devil Wears Prada.” The lively character Rebecca reminds the audience of Elle Woods from “Legally Blonde,” and their sense of style seems to overlap as both characters love bright, loud outfits that are completely impractical.

The poor girl becomes a complete slave to fashion and can’t resist anything with a designer label that’s on sale. For example, the outfits that Rebecca Bloomwood can’t live without seem a little over the top, such as a must-have mini purple dress from Barneys, a leopard print shrug jacket, and two hundred fifty dollars worth of designer underwear.

During the movie, the mannequins in the store windows come alive and tempt Rebecca into buying unnesessary items. However, the fashion accessory that seems to define her is the green scarf that she purchases, using several credit cards and cash. A mannequin convinces her to buy the piece, and tells her how she will be known as the “girl in the green scarf.” Rebecca’s eyes light up when she realizes this, and she will stop at nothing to make sure the scarf belongs to her.

With the current condition of the economy, and many people trying to live a more frugal lifestyle, it may be surprising that a movie would want to focus on endless shopping sprees. However, the message of how serious it can be to max out on credit cards becomes quite apparent when Rebecca goes so far as to portray the debt collector Derek Smeathe (Robert Stanton) as a crazy ex-boyfriend who tries to track her down at every possible location.

The film seems a bit overwhelming and so unrealistic that it starts to get annoying. It becomes a little ridiculous when Rebecca’s friend Suze (Krystan Ritter) adds up all her debt over a tequila-filled night and comes up with a grand total of of sixteen thousand dollars. Rebecca does what any smart person would do in that situation; pick up a flyer announcing a huge designer sale and buy a pair of cashmere gloves. The movie offers a few laughs, but it can get irritating watching someone with no money at all rack up an enormous amount of debt, and somehow turn out all right in the end.