A college grad lands a job as a financial journalist in New York City to support where she nurtures her shopping addiction and falls for a wealthy entrepreneur.A college grad lands a job as a financial journalist in New York City to support where she nurtures her shopping addiction and falls for a wealthy entrepreneur.A college grad lands a job as a financial journalist in New York City to support where she nurtures her shopping addiction and falls for a wealthy entrepreneur.
She plays Rebecca Bloomwood, an NY sometime-journalist, all-the-time spend-freak. A store is fantastic because they can never leave you, but they can also slap you with a huge credit card bill. She's nearly $20,000 in debt and just lost her lifeline. Her hope is to land a job at a leading fashion magazine, Alette, named for its legendary founder (Kristin Scott Thomas). Only an accident leads her to working in the world of financial journalism with Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy), the cute but shlubby-dressing workaholic editor of a savings magazine. Rebecca writing an advice column for a savings magazine is ludicrous to everyone but him. He believes she can reach people like her, and low and behold, her first article becomes a sensation. People fall in love with her honesty and a romance with Luke also develops. Just staying one step ahead of her debt proves tricky.
A lot of what makes this movie work is based around Fisher's performance. A perfect love interest in both "The Wedding Crashers" and last year's "Definitely, Maybe", she more than handles her first starring role, she owns it. She's an adorable red-head and wild comedic actress that you can't help but like. She has good chemistry with a well cast Hugh Dancy, charming as the tightly wound British editor. He reminds me of a young Colin Firth. They have a nice early scene together at a meeting of CEO's, teaching her the finer points of hard-hitting journalism and fat-cat CEO bonuses. Unfortunately the movie doesn't have more scenes like this one. The supporting cast, which includes John Lithgow, Fred Armisen, Scott Thomas, Wendie Malick, John Goodman and Joan Cusack all do what they can in small roles but the writing here isn't great.
The screenplay, by a trio of writers, bases all the laughs in broad comedy, mostly all about rabidly insane women and their shopping obsessions. It's sometimes funny, like when Rebecca ruins the progress of a support group for recovering shoppers, but soon all the talking mannequins and department store craziness just gets silly. It's an amusing little story though and while it takes a little long to finalize the romance, correct the debt, mend friendships, and learn a thing or two about financial responsibility, the themes here are identifiable and timely enough to keep interest. And director PJ Hogan avoids dumbing it down by taking a classier approach and finds affection for these characters.
"Shopaholic" is Fisher's show though and it's a solid enough piece of work to support her while she shows off her considerable skill. The movie on the other hand is something you wish were funnier but is still pretty harmless, amusing and even nice to watch. And on Valentines Day it more than fits the bill.
- Feb 13, 2009