Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance and Adaptation
Running Time: 1 hr 45 min.
Release Date: February 13th, 2009 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG for some mild language and thematic elements.
Directed by: P.J. Hogan
[A.D.(Also Directed) My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) & Peter Pan (2003)]
JJ Rating: B-
Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) likes to shop, a lot. She gets into debt and needs to pay back her credit cards. She ends up getting a job at a financial magazine, on accident, and falls for the editor Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy). Things start to fall apart when debt collector Derek Smeath (Robert Stanton) comes a calling. Confessions of a Shopaholic.
A movie that is by P.J. Hogan, who also directed My Best Friend’s Wedding and Peter Pan (2003), should have characters that are captivating. The characters in this film were charming like a serial killer is during the preshow entertainment. He charms you into it before you know your time was stolen for a cheap kill. The characters fool you into thinking there’s an actual story going on underneath all that charm. What is actually there is a flimsy plywood bridge you used to cross over a muddy creek to get to your club house summer day after summer day. It was a bridge that was working until that unforgettable day when a fat child decides to use it before you causing you to be the feather that breaks the cheap wood imitation bridge and therefore fall into the muddy hell that is your embarrassment for years to come. The story holds up until you decide to think that you deserve more than cheap plywood to sooth your bruised pockets that just paid 9$ to see a movie.
The idea that a debt collector could be a bad guy is a novel one (and punny considering it is adapted from a novel) as well as distracting. It had good intentions like grandma giving you a sweater with a fat deformed reindeer on it. You wear it with embarrassment. The debt collector was the ugly sweater. Though there were moments that did happen that were funny enough to ignore how ugly the sweater was, but not enough to forget it exists. The story could have done without the debt collector. Maybe the book had him, but the movie certainly didn’t need him.
Confessions of a Shopaholic is an hour and forty-five minutes. How much longer than what is allowed, via me, is that? Fifteen frackin’ (it is “Battlestar Galatica” last season. Give me some slack) minutes. The entire film felt like it dragged like being in traffic behind the person that would rather block you from being somewhere because they have to have the ability only to talk on the phone while only marginally using their focus on the foot and the pedal that would so remove them from clogging the roads. Had it been 15 minutes shorter there would have been a more enjoyable film to be seen.
Isla Fisher and Hugh Dancy were the saving grace of this film. I think that their relationship via their characters as well as their chemistry on screen was entertaining and bearable. Had they not been in this film it might have been a total killer of the mind, body and soul. This way it’s only a killer of the soul, while severely injuring the body and slightly insulting the mind.
The moments that come in Confessions of a Shopaholic that are funny come because Isla Fisher did as she was suppose to do. It’s not the lines that were totally funny as much as what she did with the lines as well with her facial expressions. One of the funny moments was when she defrosts a credit card. They showed the end result in the trailer with the excitement as if she found the Holy Grail. How she reacted to having to speak Finish to actual people that spoke it, was great. Fisher is a good reason to see this film.
Another good reason to see it is that it’s a clean film. There’s no nudity, some language, but over all very clean. For what it is it actually works well. That is, to a point. Then it becomes dull. I swear if they just lopped off 15 minutes this film would be so much better. The characters were great in a way that a certain seasoning is great. But if you put too much then it just totally bogs down the entire dish.
Isla Fisher is the only reason this film is worthy of being seen. She makes the movie. Other than that it’s a total waste of moviegoer time.