Confessions of a Shopaholic (DVD)
Directed by P.J. Hogan
Confessions of a Shopaholic is an amiable PG parade of pep, pop, panache and Prorsum.
Working Girl Wears Prada... and Gucci... and DG... and...
Blame it on the economy, blame it on a new presidency or a new sense of consumer conservatism, whatever the case, Confessions of a Shopaholic didn't find a lot of buyers during its theatrical run.
Isla Fisher, a rising star
Photo: Touchstone Pictures
Actually, that's a shame. It's a mighty happy little movie with a lot of spunk and a decent message. Aside from a jab at a CEO raking in the bucks while his company's investors eat a (modest in the current economy) 8% loss, Confessions doesn't have the satirical bite of The Devil Wears Prada (the book, not the movie) and it doesn't have the sophistication of Mike Nichols' Working Girl, but it does have Isla Fisher.
Fisher (I Heart Huckabees) stars as Rebecca Bloomwood, a woman who prefers the security of a good sale to the love of a man (after all, you can't return a man like you can cashmere, she says). Fisher, who was born in Oman to Scottish parents, really gets her role as a fashion-obsessed New Yorker. She's gorgeous, funny, quirky – she is perfectly cast. It doesn't matter if she's indulging in some really, really bad dance moves or embarrassing herself in a really, really bad job interview, she's really, really funny. And this should've been a breakout movie for her.
In short, Rebecca's a Technicolor gal in a drab, black-and-white world. After her first kiss with editor-turned-boyfriend Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy, The Jane Austen Book Club), she goes to work and rides the escalator, surrounded by black-and-gray suits while she's decked out in pinks and golds and full of doe-eyed romance.
The Girl in the Green Scarf
A journalist with her sights set on working for the fashion-fabulous Alette magazine, Rebecca winds up getting her foot in the door by taking a job at Successful Saving, a money magazine run by the same publishing house.
There's some oddness at play here – and throughout the movie – as Rebecca shows up for her interview only to find out the job was filled internally the day before. Odd. And it's also odd she could turn right around and walk down the hall for an interview with the money magazine only minutes later. Hmmm…
The joke is Rebecca has no dollar sense, yet she winds up earning international fame as "The Girl in the Green Scarf," serving up financial advice in laywoman's terms. Unfortunately for her, she's run up quite a bill and has a pit-bullish debt collector hot on her trail. Her total debt after buying up designer underwear, visits to a foot spa, and all manner of other stuff comes to a staggering "$16,1262.70." That's right. "Sixteen thousand, twelve hundred sixty-two dollars and seventy cents." Go figure.
In the end, it's all part of the movie's silly charm. Rebecca lives in a fanciful fantasy world of not-so-fluent Finnish, fencing, and talking mannequins. Sharing in her world is a terrific supporting cast that includes a number of A/A-/B+-listers, including Kristin Scott Thomas, John Lithgow, Julie Hagerty, John Goodman, Joan Cusack, Lynn Redgrave and Wendie Malick. Even non-actors get in on the fun. Andrew Serwer, the managing editor of Fortune magazine, makes a cameo as a bank CEO and former NBA star John Salley reveals his acting chops in a very funny role as a reforming shopaholic named "Mr. Freak."
Even as a two-disc set, the supplemental features are sparse.
Disc One contains two minutes of bloopers, which further prove Fisher is game to ditch the glam in favor of pure goofiness.
There are also four deleted scenes. The one entitled Zebra Print Pants is the best of the bunch and worth a look.
Also on tap is the Stuck with Each Other music video by Shontelle featuring Akon.
It's worth pointing out none of the supplements are anamorphic.
Disc Two is devoted entirely to the Digital Copy download.
Picture and Sound
While the supplements are scant, the feature film's presentation quality is top notch. The picture is pristine and pops with pizzazz and a full palette.
The pop song-heavy soundtrack is also well done, carrying across Rebecca Bloomwood's girlish giddiness. The audio options are all 5.1 Dolby Digital in English, French and Spanish.
Optional subtitles are available in English for the Hearing Impaired, French and Spanish.
How to Use This DVD
Bask in Isla Fisher's radiance then, if you're in the mood, check out the bloopers and Zebra Print Pants.
• Originally published at MovieHabit.com.