Friday, February 06, 2009

Confessions of a (Semi) Reformed Chick Flick Hater

Last night I attended the premier of Confessions of a Shopaholic, hesitantly that is. The pre-pre-buzz ranged from “terrible” to “terribly timed” given our Recession (ista, if you must) climate.

For me, a perpetual hater of all things “chick”—chick flicks, chick lit—the idea of trekking to midtown in the literally freezing cold in a dress and high heels was both daunting and dreadful. But the thought of Isla Fisher was like a little ray of sunshine, so trek to midtown I did.

For Fisher, sunshine is an understatement. Much like Reese Witherspoon’s Elle Woods and Alicia Silverstone’s beloved Cher, Isla Fischer took a character that all girls could potentially hate and turned her into someone we’ll all indefinitely love.

Fisher, both adorable and hysterical, brought her trademark qualities to the character of Rebecca Bloomwood, creating an irresistible underdog you couldn’t help but laugh at and laugh with simultaneously.

Amongst a cast of veterans (Kristin Scott Thomas, John Goodman, Joan Cusack), heartthrobs (the dashingly handsome Brit, Hugh Dancy) and unexpected cameos (John Lithgow and Wendie Malick), Confessions of a Shopaholic was most definitely a one-woman show bound to launch Fisher to the lead ranks of female comediennes.

This should take her from an Anna Faris to a Kristen Wiig (ok, the latter is slightly untouchable, but you get my point). Overall, the reviews will be favorable for our little Isla…to be known no longer as Borat’s baby mama.

The film as a whole follows the cliché chick-flick course. Much like both Legally Blonde and Clueless, the female lead solves the problem, gets the guy, and over the course of the film realizes her initial goals were both materialistic and morally conflicting. So even though she gets what she thought she wanted, in this case a job at Alette magazine, she turns it down for the more sincere alternative.

For a film about shopping, the styling was questionable. But they certainly had fun with it. Each article of Bloomwood’s clothing looked like it was plucked from a different page of a Pantone book, and many articles there were, so it was quite the display of ROY G BIV.

But like the film itself, the clothes were bright, cheerful and optimistic. Not exactly what one would imagine from Bergdorf’s or YSL where several scenes were shot, but then again, her credit card bill was only $900 after leaving BG with several bags and boxes, so we’re not exactly fact-checking here.

Confessions of a Shopaholic was fun, light-hearted and enjoyable to watch. Contrary to some initial criticism, a film about shopping, debt and freeing yourself from it all is ironically appropriate when we’re all up to our eyeballs in Recession dread. It was the escapism we all could use a little dose of.

Final Word: Taking a cue from Rebecca Bloomwood, maybe I should do shots of tequila while reviewing my bills. It won’t decrease the bottom line, but it will increase the sense of humor attached to it all. And that’s a free-for-all commodity we can’t relinquish in these times. Having said that, who’s got the Patron? Umm…I mean, Cuervo.

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