February 13, 2009
Review in a Hurry: Isla Fisher may be fetching as a fun-loving fashionista who writes for a financial magazine, but this outdated comedy recycles trendier (and better) flicks-and maxes out our patience.
The Bigger Picture: Blockbuster producer Jerry Bruckheimer claims he snagged the chick-lit Shopaholic series because he's "always looking for fresh ideas." Fresh, eh? So why is this adaptation a shopworn patchwork of The Devil Wears Prada, Sex and The City, Legally Blonde and Ugly Betty?
For the big screen, the story has shifted from the U.K. to NYC, where Rebecca Bloomwood (Fisher) racks up Shopping debt and dreams of working at her fave Fashion magazine, Mode, er, Alette. Through a series of events requiring you to suspend disbelief-toss it off a Manhattan skyscraper-plucky Rebecca lands a columnist job at a money mag published by the same company. Though ill-fitted for the industry-and dressed in Elle Woods-worthy Pink outfits-she becomes a sensation in the international finance community.
Her Sex stock also soars, as she charms the pressed pants off her dashing British boss, Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy). (Oh, let's add Bridget Jones's Diary to the list above). But what will Rebecca do when all her debt and deceit comes back to haunt her?
Fisher and Dancy are appropriately adorable, but the shapeless pic sloppily stitches ragged storylines and cutout characters it doesn't quite know what to do with, including Rebecca's parents, her BFF, conspiring colleagues and yet another Anna Wintour knockoff. Eschewing wit, the script relies on bursts of overly broad Humor, so we have to watch klutzy Rebecca run into stuff and do tragic dance moves.
Plus, the timing couldn't be worse. Shopaholic can't wring laughs from gags about the homeless, bankrupt consumers and finance execs luxuriating at a Miami resort. It's likely to drive you into a depression instead.
The 180-a Second Opinion: The CGI mannequins are cool, seducing Rebecca like sirens into purchasing more clothes. Hmmm, maybe its time for an FX-laden remake of the '80s rom-com Mannequin? Anyone?