Confessions of a Shopaholic Review

Rebecca Bloomwood needs help. No, scratch that. She needs an intervention. Women love to shop, but this woman is flat out psychotic about it, getting into physical altercations with other people during a sale. This woman would trample a Wal-Mart employee over a designer DVD player on Black Friday.

Unfortunately, Rebecca (Isla Fisher) is the heroine of this story, one in which the audience is actually rooting for the debt collector (Robert Stanton) to catch up with her. Despite the countless bills, she continues to buy designer garbage at full price. Who can feel sorry for her?

Confessions of a Shopaolic makes some attempt to get Rebecca help, putting her in one of those help groups that only exist in the movies. You know, the ones where everyone sits in a circle inside an abandoned building? Even that group is a failure, making her give away expensive clothes which in no way helps her with the mounting debt. Have these people ever heard of eBay?

The limited plot, at least when the movie isn’t concerned with Fisher spinning around in an overdone clothing store while the camera looks on, concerns Rebecca’s urge to write for a top fashion magazine. Instead, she is put on the staff of a financial magazine, one of the countless contrived and ridiculous scenarios the movie relies on.

When she lies about speaking Finnish on her resume? You can bet she’ll have to meet someone who speaks the language. That’s just how these things work.

As the debt collector continues to up his tactics, including following her to work, all Rebecca needs to do is speak up. Considering the economy, telling your boss you’re in debt could lead to an article considering, well, you write a financial magazine. Instead of using common sense to solve the problem, she falls deeper into her lies so the movie can lead to all the usual scenes of emotional distress brought on by her own stupidity.

Isla Fisher is enormously talented given the right material, but here she is saddled with a delusional character, one so out of touch she sees mannequins talking to her. That’s not funny, that’s disturbing.

Movie ★☆☆☆☆ 

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Touchstone/Disney deliver a razor sharp encode, flawed only by the source. Colors are over saturated, suffering from significant bleeding, particularly in the reds. Contrast is bright, and does blot out detail. Flesh tones can appear bronzed and unnatural.

Otherwise, this is a spot-on video presentation, with deep blacks creating fantastic depth. Shadow delineation is excellent. Detail, from facial textures to clothing, is superb. Noise is an irregular problem, creeping into the frame at sporadic moments.

Video ★★★★☆ 

A DTS-HD encode is straightforward and adequate. A few lively party scenes fill the sound field, and the soundtrack bleeds nicely into all channels. The latter also lightly delivers bass. Dialogue is always prominent in the mix and audible without volume adjustment.

Audio ★★★☆☆ 

Four deleted scenes and two minutes of outtakes are quickly glossed over before moving onto Behind the Fashion. These six featurettes last about 13 minutes without providing anything insightful as to the making of the movie, not that there would be much to tell. Music videos and trailers remain.

Extras ★★☆☆☆ 

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