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Too bright, too sappy, too much

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A scene from Confessions of a Shopaholic
A scene from Confessions of a Shopaholic

Confessions of a Shopaholic (English)

Cast: Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy, Joan Cusack,

Kristin Scott Thomas

Director: P. J. Hogan

All of us know timing is everything in comedy. Confessions of a Shopaholic suffers from a fatal lack of it. We are not talking about the cast — Isla Fisher is a formidable comic talent and manages wonderfully well. The timing we are speaking of is the release of a film about conspicuous consumption during such financially troubling times.

When a character says that America is managing fine despite being in an even greater credit card debt, one can only cringe. And that is just one of the troubles with this brightly coloured confection. There is also the problem of excess. The colours are too bright, the music too sappy, the characters too shrill and the clothes too edgy, too couture, too everything. By the end of the film you feel like you have drunk too much coffee and eaten too much sugar — all wired up with empty calories and slightly sick.

Based on Sophie Kinsella’s bestselling novels, the film tells the story of Rebecca Bloomwood, who loves to shop and dreams of working in a fashion magazine, Alette. When an opening is filled in-house, she decides on the cunning plan of joining a financial magazine of the same publishing house as her ticket into Alette.

Rebecca with her maxed-out credit cards and a debt collector at her door seems hardly the right person to be handing out savings advice, but she does and her highly original way of looking at finance wins her a huge following and the admiration of her dreamy-looking boss, Luke Brandon. Then everything goes wrong. Rebecca learns the error of her ways, and all is well that ends well.

Patricia Fields, who designed costumes for The Devil Wears Prada and Sex and the City, conclusively proves that designing for the big screen is just not her cup of tea. Carrie and company carried off her clothes on telly just fine, but on the big screen the clothes have a distracting amount of accessories. That was the case in The Devil… and here they are guaranteed to give retinal fatigue.

Cusack is suitably vague as Rebecca’s mum while Thomas has a blast as the glacial editor of Alette. Just wish the film had less dressing and more substance.

MINI ANTHIKAD-CHHIBBER

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