Confessions of a Shopaholic

2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Remember what the world was like when Sophie Kinsella’s 2001 novel hit bookshelves, and an economic apocalypse seemed like a fanciful folly? Today’s audiences will view the misadventures of plucky journalist and Prada addict Rebecca Bloomwood (Fisher) through the twin lenses of wish-fulfillment escapism and outright horror. Yes, the movie still adheres to Kinsella’s fluffy premise that, with nothing but the purchase of a green scarf, a fashion-forward writer can miraculously become a hot financial columnist and woo a cute, infinitely understanding man (Dancy). But these retail-therapy binges have now been cursed with a sickening sense of social free fall. It’s hard to watch so much quirky conspicuous consumption while, outside the Cineplex, financial institutions have put the APR back into everything falls apart.

Bad timing is merely one of this rom-com’s lesser problems; the abundance of wasted talent on display is an even bigger concern. The P.J. Hogan who once managed to balance bliss and bitterness in My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) is AWOL here—even the subplot about a Javert-like debt collector is warm-and-fuzzied—and Fisher’s natural comedic gifts are stifled at every turn in favor of bland ditziness. This is, apparently, what average moviegoers want from their female heroes. They deserve more credit.--David Fear

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