So last night the missus and I decided to watch Isla Fisher’s Confessions Of A Shopaholic. I figured it would be a fairly vapid rom com that I could easily ignore and read comics through. Instead it turned out to be a pretty classic madcap comedy where everything that can go wrong, does. Sure it has the usual “girl falls for a guy she can’t have,” “character lies and gets called on it later, thus making people around her lose faith” and “problems between friends and potential lovers that can be easily explained aren’t and lead to huge blow-ups” elements, but that’s just the framework the overall movie is hung upon. By making me think it was something small and obvious it took me off my guard and wound up really surprising me.
Oh, you might be wondering what “bloogling” is. After having a few drinks last night and enjoying the movie I blurted out “I’m gonna bloogle” this movie. The missus started ragging on me pretty hard for mis-speaking. I told her I coined the term and that I’d make it huge, she dared me to use it on the blog and here we are. Feel free to use it. I have no idea what it means, but it’s got a nice ring to it, no?
Anyway, Fisher plays the titular shopaholic. She comes off as pretty unlikable in the beginning because of how much money she spends on clothes which puts her into huge debt (it’s not like she’s super wealthy, she works at a gardening magazine). She wants to work at a fashion mag, but instead winds up working for the company’s finance mag. She becomes a pretty huge success “using shopping metaphors to explain larger financial concepts.” Of course, she’s making it all up as she goes along and knows nothing about finance. There’s a lot more going on with her best friend’s upcoming wedding, her trying to get her finances under control, her parents popping in and out of the movie and a debt collector on her trail. It’s a classic “how long can she keep this up?” flick with plenty of pratfalls and site gags along the way.
I wish I knew more 60s comedies, because that’s really what Confessions reminded me of, though I can’t give an obvious comparison that isn’t Down With Love, which has similar themes. Fisher pulls the part off extremely well going from the head-slappingly stupid moments of self centeredness to making the viewer fall for her (her being super hot doesn’t hurt either). John Goodman and Joan Cusack are delightful as her frugal parents, though it’s a little distracting thinking that Cusack is supposed to be Fisher’s mom as she seems so young. Fisher’s best friend Krysten Ritter also threw me a bit because the last movie I saw her in was She’s Out Of My League where she also played the best friend. In this flick she’s super nice and bubbly while in the other she’s mean and constantly spewing obscenities. I kept expecting her to get mean in this flick and it didn’t happen, but that’s obviously not the movie’s fault, just something I kept thinking while watching.
It is kind of interesting to me that this movie about a woman with money problems and an addiction to shopping came out during one of the biggest economic downturns in the history of the country. Meanwhile, magazines are a pretty big focal point of the movie which are going through all kinds of changes. The movie doesn’t mention either the country’s financial problems or the dwindling magazine industry (except for one magazine closing down, though that seemed more a plot point than anything else). I thought that might put me out of the movie a bit, but since it’s already kind of cartoony anyway, I’ll give it a pass. Plus, a few years from now after the downturn becomes an upswing again, we’ll still want to enjoy movies like this and not have them bogged down with too much social commentary. A few years after that though people will be like “what are these magazines you speak of?”
I don’t know if I would outwardly recommend this movie. I was surprised with how much I enjoyed it, but I probably would not have ever watched it on my own. If you’re looking for a movie to watch with your girl, you can do a lot worse. But, if you’re a fan of those classic comedies or the current crop of awkward flicks, this might be a good one to check out.