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Film / Confessions of a Shopaholic

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Confessions of a Shopaholic is a 2009 film adaptation of the Shopaholic series of novels by Sophie Kinsella. It was directed by P. J. Hogan and stars Isla Fisher as the central character, Rebecca Bloomwood, the shopaholic journalist.

The story follows Rebecca Bloomwood, a self-professed shopaholic who has bought her way into debt with her many, many, many purchases. The film follows her recalling how this sorry state came to be and illustrates her attempts to overcome the detrimental affliction and work her way out of debt.

This film provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: The book series describes Rebecca as brunette and green-eyed and Suze as a blonde. The movie depicts Rebecca as redheaded and brown-eyed and Suze as a brunette.
  • Adapted Out: The Websters, who are neighbors and close friends of the Bloomwoods are nowhere to be seen.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Suze often calls Rebecca "Bex" for short.
  • All Women Love Shoes: Shoes are prominently featured in Rebecca's horde of purchases, and she spends the entire movie dressed in flashy high heels.
  • Artistic License – Law: Rebecca pays off her debts in full to Derek Smeath with jars of coins. In real life there's no law requiring merchants to accept coins as a means of payment. However, if Derek Smeath had refused to accept thousands of dollars in American coins, legally Rebecca's debts would still be considered paid off.
  • Awesome, but Impractical / Boring, but Practical: How Rebecca defined a "real present" and a "fake present" in her youth. "Real" presents were fancy things that didn't last a month; "fake" presents were dull things that would last a long time.
  • Becoming the Mask: Subverted. Rebecca's position at Successful Saving doesn't eradicate her addiction, but the more she's around Luke Brandon, and the more she writes for him, the more she settles into the Girl in the Green Scarf role.
  • Brick Joke: After lying on her resume that she knows Finnish, Luke introduces her to a Finnish colleague at a social event, where she flubs her way into pretending to understand him. At the end of the movie, she's revealed to have learned Finnish for real and goes back up to the same Finnish gentlemen, introducing Alicia as "a world-famous prostitute".
  • Dance of Romance: Rebecca and Luke have a brief dance scene when they're at the conference in Florida. It's somewhat played for laughs because Rebecca keeps stepping on Luke's feet and hitting him in the face with a fan accidentally.
  • Embarrassing Ringtone: Becky's ringtone for her banker says "Don't answer this call; it's Derek Smeath." It goes off while Mr. Smeath is in the vicinity.
  • Evil Debt Collector:
    • The debt collector. No surprise there. Goes as far as to humiliate the lead on national television, which by the way is against the FDCPA (the part about disclosing debt to third parties). Too bad she was too dumb to sue the collector to oblivion for it (which given the recorded footage she would have won). This isn't very different than the way debt collectors are in reality, and most people don't know that they have grounds to sue.
    • The debt collector is actually a Composite Character of both Derek Smeath and John Gavin. Derek Smeath in the books turns out to be an understanding 'uncle' type who actually helps Becky pay off her debt, John Gavin is more stern and hostile, as seen in the movie. Essentially he's only Derek Smeath in name.
  • Fantasy Sequence: Apparently, Rebecca is so obsessed with shopping that she imagines mannequins communicating with her. Which makes it a little weird when the ones with blank faces do so.
  • Freudian Excuse: Depending on how you feel about Rebecca, she possibly has one. Her mother always bought her boring and unfashionable clothes, only thinking of their good prices, while Rebecca wanted the pretty, sparkly, overpriced clothes—that every other girl her age got—and as a little girl saw older girls and adults buying whatever they wanted with magic cards. No one corrected this thinking, so she grew up becoming the fashionable girl she always wanted to be, in her 20s, but with twelve credit cards and a boatload of debt she has no idea how to pay off.
  • Fun with Foreign Languages: Rebecca spices up her resume by claiming, falsely, that she's fluent in Finnish. After she gets the job, her skills are put to test in a cocktail party with an actual Finnish person. Not ready to admit the truth, Rebecca solves the situation by slapping the man in front of everybody and claiming that men like him are the reason she left Finland. What the man was actually saying is not really that abusive: "Hi! So nice to meet another Finn in here! Ever since I've been here in Americ—" *slap*
  • Genius Ditz: Rebecca, the titular shopaholic actually has a knack for financial advice.
  • Humiliation Conga: What Rebecca "suffers" at National TV courtesy of Derek Smeath (her card collector) barging into the talk show and reading the Long List of debts and her cons to evade paying them to a live audience.
  • Hurricane of Excuses: Derek Smeath reads a list of Rebecca's excuses to not pay him immediately when he called her to request it (which he wrote on his notebook), including two dead parents, dead pets, and one pretense she did not spoke English. On live television.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While to some extent humiliating her on national TV was a step too far, the only reason Derek Smeath had to resort to extreme methods to chase Rebecca down was because she kept dodging all of his calls and refusing to meet with him in person, and she really did owe a huge amount of money that couldn't go ignored, requiring him to confront her in a situation she couldn't escape from.
  • Leg Focus: Alicia, to the point where she's nicknamed "Alicia-Bitch-Longlegs."
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Suze's bridesmaid dress, of the horrendously pimped-out variety. It's hot pink with a puffy multicolored underskirt. Worse than that, the dress comes with a comically short veil to match.
  • Pink Is Feminine: One of Rebecca's outfits is predominantly pink.
  • Redhead In Green: Rebecca is a redhead and she quickly becomes known as "The Girl with the Green Scarf." The movie's ending scene also shows her in a green dress borrowed from Suze.
  • Secretly Wealthy: Luke Brandon is revealed to be the son of a wealthy Manhattan socialite, but Rebecca, pointing out that he's a workaholic and not always a sharp dresser, never would have guessed.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Suze, upon finding out Rebecca lost her specially given bridesmaid dress.
    Rebecca: Suz, that I can absolutely explain.
    Suz: Okay, explain.
    Rebecca: Oh... [stays silent]
    Suz: EXPLAIN!
  • Two First Names: Luke Brandon.