CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC epitomises everything that is most invidious about the romantic comedies. The plot is derivative and formulaic; the characterisation is two-dimensional; the concept asks us to suspend our disbelief to the point of absurdity.
Isla Fisher plays Rebecca Bloomwood - a klutzy girl who funds her designer wardrobe with her credit cards and dreams of writing for a Vogue-like magazine. Chased by a debt-collector, she creates a double-life as - oh the delicious irony! - a personal finance columnist. So successful are her jargon-free columns that she lands a TV spot and the love of her charmingly rich, but hard-working boss, played by Hugh Dancy. Of course, there are stumbling blocks to happiness - but how happy the addict whose hoard of illicit goods can fund an easy conversion to the straight life?
The treatment of addiction is insultingly superficial - as is everything else about this tepid film. Worse still, it can't even boast the guilty pleasure of seeing the wardrobes of SEX AND THE CITY or THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA. Rebecca may spend like Anna Wintour but she dresses appallingly. The humour is strained - zero verbal wit offset by the odd pratfall and wilfully embarassing dance scene. Where is the genuine wit and energy of LEGALLY BLONDE or, indeed, director P J Hogan's previous hit, MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING?
CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC is on release in Russia, Thailand, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, the US, the UAE, Croatia, Turkey and the UK. It opens next week in Hong Kong, Iceland and Italy. It opens on March 6th in Greece and Finland and on March 12th in Argentina, Australia, Germany and the Netherlands. It opens on March 18th in Belgium and Spain and on March 26th in the Czech Republic, Singapore, South Korea and Norway. It opens on April 10th in April, on May 20th in France and on May 20th in Japan.