The Review: Confessions of a Shopaholic (as seen by a dude)
The Situation: It's Valentine's Day weekend and you've got to do something nice for your significant other. You're not quite sure what to do but figure a chick flick is a safe bet. Will this movie please the women and keep the men awake?
The Director: P.J. Hogan
The Cast: Isla Fisher stars as Rebecca Bloomwood in the adaptation ofSophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series of novels. Her romantic interest and boss is played by English actor Hugh Dancy. Rounding out the cast are John Goodman and Joan Cusack as Rebecca's frugal parents, and Krysten Ritter is her roommate and BFF Suze. Also appearing are John Lithgow, Fred Armisen, Kristin Scott Thomas, a cameo by Ed Helms of The Office, an appearance by a retired professional athlete, and a couple other people I recognized but didn't feel were noteworthy. All-in-all, it's an enjoyable cast. Although no one stands out or gives a spectacular performance, they all suit their roles quite well.
The Premise: A recent college grad, Rebecca Bloomwood (Fisher), is trying to make it in the big city as fashion journalist. Seriously, is it just me or does every chick flick have their female lead as a journalist or aspiring journalist? In less time than it takes to type this, a female co-worker and I came up with 5 movies where this is the case: Hitch, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, The Devil Wear's Prada, 27 Dresses, and of course Sex and the City.For once I'd like to see a romantic comedy where the girl works as a bus driver. Anyways, the twist here is while trying to make it in the big city, Rebecca has to deal with the financial consequences of her shopping addiction, winding up with a large amount of debt. Ironically, she lands a job at the financial magazine and hilarity ensues.
The Good: Isla Fisher is hot. That's enough to keep me interested for about 2 hours, but if that doesn't do it for you, then don't fret. There's more to like about this movie than just her. Fisher and Dancy are likable and unconventional romantic leads. Both of them don't exactly fit that traditional 'Hollywood beautiful' mold. You know what I'm talking about, perfect blond female paired with a tall athletic male. Think Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey. I found Fisher (red head) and Dancy (kind of short) more appealing because of this. It's also nice to see that John Goodman is still getting work. I think he's great as an onscreen dad. Sure, his portrayal of onehasn't really changed that much since his days in prime time TV, but I still think he's one of the coolest dads around. Well, his character is actually a pretty dorky dad here, but he's still fun to watch.
The Bad: Well, it's a chick flick. Since I was blessed with that special little thing called a Y chromosome, I wasn't too excited to see this movie. Romantic comedies just aren't my cup of tea. As the film opened, all I could think of was, "Oh Blarg, I hope someone takes a samurai sword to all those ridiculously overpriced handbags!" while I'm pretty sure all the females in the audience were thinking "________!!!!!!!!" (Please insert the fashion item of your preference here.)
The story really isn't anything too special. Pretty standard for a film in this genre. Girl meets guy, girl falls for guy, girl does something stupid and loses the guy, girl then has a personal revelation and does something special to win the guy back. Yea, happy ending! Nothing very original here.
The Lowdown: For the women's perspective, I polled three women that I saw this film with, and their opinions ranged from all right to great. One said that it was better than Sex and the City, while another thought that He's Just Not That Into You was better. Take from that what you will. I think that regardless of that, if you possess two X chromosomes, you'll probably enjoy this movie. I'm not afraid to admit that I enjoyed it myself. There's enough in here to keep most guys interested and amused.