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Confessions of a Shopaholic
BLU-RAY disk
6 years ago By: J.A. Hamilton
Confessions of a Shopaholic order
Director:
P.J. Hogan

Actors:
Isla Fisher
Hugh Dancy
John Goodman

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An eccentric young woman OBSESSED with shopping lands a writing gig in a family of magazine companies hoping it will open the door to her dream job. That is, if a few “white lies” and a mountain of debt don’t catch up with her first.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I wasn’t nearly as excited to see CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC in my stack of DVDs to review as my girlfriend and her sister were. Apparently it’s based on a trilogy of novels which they read and were more than happy to fill me in on. Happy day. But then I noticed something curious when I picked up the Blu ray case, “a Jerry Bruckheimer production,” I said to myself. What an interesting surprise. In light of this new evidence, I was not at all surprised by my enjoyment of this film, which throws a sly wink in THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA’s direction.

As with Hathaway’s performance in PRADA, Isla Fisher is downright adorable here as this wonderfully written story’s sexy underdog. It feels like EVERYONE can and will relate to her character in this flick, God knows I’m a collector of a great many things and sometimes find my credit cards burning a hole in my pocket. Shopping is a situation that can get waaay out of control fast, and ultimately THIS is what truly works here as we’ve ALL been there before. The whole cast was fun, and I especially enjoyed seeing John Goodman and Bruckheimer team up again, as Goodman ALWAYS plays a believable father role.

Since the script (and source material) were so well done, it’s easy to forget the subtle love story slowly creeping its way to the surface. Of course, it works well here, giving us the happy ending we kinda, sorta knew was coming. Derek Smeath was the perfect villain for this kind of story, and I couldn’t help but laugh my ass off when I saw all those pennies. There were another couple “mean bitches” in the mix, but unlike PRADA, this film’s tone was less “on edge” and more “happy go lucky” taking away any sense of dire peril when it came to our heroine.

Much like my reservations toward COYOTE UGLY vanished at the sight of Bruckheimer’s name, so too did any doubts of CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC. Admittedly, this is definitely NOT the sort of movie I rush out to buy or rent, but I must admit there are a few of these flicks in my legendary collection. With smart writing, solid performances and a just the right touch of humor, SOME chickflicks are worthwhile even for a man’s man like me. This flick’s got a lot going for it and is sure to be a big hit with men and women alike (though most guys will never admit it).
THE EXTRAS
Wardrobe By Patricia Field: A one on one with the woman behind the look and style of the film’s wardrobe. Patricia Field was also involved with SEX AND THE CITY and THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA.

Temple of Shopping: Here we’re shown how the production team transformed the NY store Henri Bendel in the main shop for the film. I was totally digging the Mid Summer Night’s dream theme.

The Green Scarf: A quick look at the way the green scarf was designed. Patricia Field had a scarf in mind, but had to completely remake it from scratch. The end result being the perfect fit.

New York, Fashion Central: They chose NY for the energy, the shops and mainly because it’s the fashion capital of the world. The cast had some colorful things to add about shooting on the NY streets.

Sample Sale Madness: Three hundred women (extras, not actors) were used in this scene, described by the director as “the BRAVEHEART” of shopping scenes. Too funny.

Window Shopping: Some insight into the process of real actors playing CGI mannequins in the windows of shops all up and down Madison avenue. I know how Rebecca feels, I swear my surround sound system was begging me to buy it and bring it home.

Deleted Scenes: About six and a half minutes of cut footage which I found cute (the zebra pants part especially). For once, I think they should have left them in.

Bloopers: A brief two minutes of (un-funny) outtakes. To be honest though, I’d have watched three hours of shitty outtakes if Isla Fisher was in them.

Music Videos: We get three vids, none of which were the title screen song (which was better than any of these). PRO TIP: Songs about shopping aren’t very interesting.

Sneak Peeks: Three trailers (the LOST promo was cool) and a Blu ray commercial. There's also a digital copy of the film.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Don’t let the title fool you, this movie is a rare gem in a genre flooded with garbage and should be given it’s due. As a critic I try not to judge a movie by it’s cover, but truth be known, I probably wouldn’t have watched this film had I not needed to review it. That said, I’m glad I did and I’m sure you will be too.

Extra Tidbit: My girlfriend wanted me to give this movie “two thumbs up”, and when I said “this isn’t Ebert and Roeper honey,” she stared back at me blankly. I sighed. TWO THUMBS UP.
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