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CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) is a compulsive shopper. She cannot resist using her credit cards to augment her considerable wardrobe and dreams of working as a journalist for Alette, her favorite fashion magazine, run by French fashion editor Alette Naylor (Kristin Scott Thomas). She gets one step closer to her dream when she is offered a job as columnist for a financial magazine published by the same company by its editor, Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy). She finds unexpected success under her byline as The Girl With The Green Scarf, but relies on the help of her best friend Suze (Krysten Ritter) to help her hide from austere debt collector Derek Smeath (Robert Stanton) who is hot on her heels.

Review by Louise Keller:
A mediocre result for a title with as much promise as a designer boutique crammed with items to die for, this girls-only adaptation of Sophie Kinsella's book has charm, but never lives up to expectations. Aspiring to the eager girlie market that worships glamour, fashion and shopping, this confluence of Legally Blonde, The Devil Wears Prada and Sex and the City is a hybrid without the reality check. We know P.J. Hogan can twist our hearts around his little finger (remember Muriel's Wedding?), but here, humour is flung around carelessly without any semblance of pathos, characters fail to be grounded in reality, and performances are overblown. Nonetheless the film's heart is in the right place and there are smidgeons of fun for the undemanding as fashion, finances and love shuffle positions onto life's shopping list.

When we first meet Isla Fisher's shopaholic Rebecca Bloomwood, she is juggling her 12 credit cards in order to keep her plentiful wardrobe in the manner to which she has become accustomed. Her narration in which she confesses her unconditional love for the humble designer store sets the tone. 'A man will never treat you as well as a store,' she muses as she walks past seductive window displays whose designer-clad mannequins beckon to her as she walks along the New York sidewalks ('Underwear is a basic human right'). Fisher is appealing but never reaches the heights she did in The Wedding Crashers, and often overplays the part. Direction is partly to blame as most of the characters suffer from the same ailment. This fabricates a veil of make-believe and the stakes are never high enough. There is only one scene in the whole film which I truly believed: when John Goodman (playing Rebecca's optimistic dad) explains what defines him to his Prada-loving daughter.

The laughs are contrived as Rebecca is hired by Hugh Dancy's workaholic editor Luke as a financial columnist. Dancy (in the Hugh Grant mould) has plenty of appeal, and although the predictable romance plays well, there isn't an overload of chemistry. With a volume of Money for Dummies under her arm, and a lolly-pink computer, Rebecca is like Legally Blonde's blonde without the smarts. Kristen Scott Thomas (the Meryl Streep role in The Devil Wears Prada) is underused as is Joan Cusack playing Rebecca's supportive mum. Krysten Ritter's Suze is a one-dimensional character who screams a lot, and Robert Stanton as nerdy debt collector Derek Smeath is but a caricature. I feel a bit mean not to be more enthusiastic, but this story about the difference between cost and worth could be so much more.

Packed with special bonus features including deleted scenes, bloopers, 'behind the fashion' and the music video 'Stuck with Each Other'; available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Published August 5, 2009

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC: DVD (PG)
(US, 2009)

CAST: Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy, Krysten Ritter, Joan Cusack, John Goodman, Kristen Scott Thomas, John Lithgow, Lynn Redgrave

PRODUCER: Jerry Bruckheimer

DIRECTOR: P.J. Hogan

SCRIPT: Tracey Jackson, Tim Firth, Kayla Alpert

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jo Willems

EDITOR: William Goldenberg

MUSIC: James Newton Howard

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Kristi Zea

RUNNING TIME: 104 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Walt Disney

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 12, 2009

PRESENTATION: 16:9 widescreen

SPECIAL FEATURES: Packed with special bonus features including deleted scenes, bloopers, 'behind the fashion' and the music video 'Stuck with Each Other'!

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Walt Disney Pictures Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: August 5, 2009







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