Thursday, April 9, 2015

Confessions of a Shopaholic (live action movie), on DVD

Confessions of a Shopaholic is a romantic comedy based on the Shopaholic book series by Sophie Kinsella. I haven't read those books and, considering how badly this movie stressed me out, I doubt I ever will.

Rebecca is deeply and horribly addicted to shopping. It's okay if she can't afford any of it – that's what credit cards are for! Except she has credit cards in the double digits, they're all maxed out, and the magazine she currently works for is closing up shop. Collection agencies won't stop calling, and she has 16 grand worth of debt. When Luke, the editor of a financial magazine she drunkenly accidentally sent a sample of her writing to, offers her a job, she takes it because 1) it's money and 2) it could be her stepping stone to Alette, the fashion magazine she has always dreamt of working for. Rebecca soon has  chance at both success and romance, but her addiction and lies threaten to destroy all of that.

I bought this because I vaguely remembered that the trailer made it look cute and funny. I had somehow gotten it into my head that Rebecca, the main character, would discover at the beginning that she had enormous credit card debt and that she'd spend the rest of the movie frantically trying to pay it off while at the same time keeping anyone at the financial magazine that had bizarrely decided to hire her from finding out. Instead, she spent most of the movie refusing to recognize that she had a problem. If you don't have a problem, there's nothing to fix, right?

The movie is 1 hour and 45 minutes long, and Rebecca spent all but the last 20 or 30 minutes screwing up and/or lying. It was incredibly painful to watch. She lied about everything. Her lies to debt collectors were so elaborate that she had to consult a cheat sheet in order to remember what she'd said, and to whom. She lied on her resume, claiming that she spoke Finnish. She lied to her boss, saying that one particularly tenacious debt collector was actually an ex-boyfriend who was stalking her. She lied to her best friend about attending shopping addiction support group meetings. Rebecca wasn't a horrible person, but she had so many problems, and she just kept making things worse.

The fallout did eventually happen, but it took ages. When it was finally time to pick up the pieces and repair the relationships she had stomped on, Rebecca did so amazingly quickly. Too quickly – I couldn't bring myself to believe that she'd really made it past her issues. On the plus side, at least the answer to all her financial and shopping problems didn't turn out to be Luke's family's money. I was a little worried that he'd end up making things worse by swooping in, paying off all her debt, and allowing her to continue on as usual without learning a thing.

I suppose the romance was okay. Rebecca was lucky that Luke apparently viewed her as some kind of diamond in the rough – he was far kinder and more patient with her at the beginning of her employment than most people probably would have been. Especially considering that her first article was probably mostly plagiarized from a “For Dummies” book and should have gotten her fired. Unfortunately, it was hard to enjoy Luke and Rebecca having occasional “moments” together when I wanted to scream at Rebecca for continuing to dig herself a deeper hole with all her lies.


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