Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ok, if I only have $20 to last me the week, should I save it for gas or should I get the cute top?

Don’t you hate it when the things you think you’ll love, you actually end up hating? Ok, maybe not hating, but really not enjoying as much as you had thought you would?

I went to see Confessions of a Shopaholic with my mom recently and, even thought the clothes were great, I wasn’t very happy with it. Actually, I was rather frustrated.

For those who live under a rock, here’s the deal: Rebecca Bloomwood is a journalist who can’t control her spending habits. She buys things she doesn’t need with money she doesn’t have, thus leaving her in debt. She loses her job and, after embellishing her resume a bit, she finds a new one at a financial magazine. Needless to say, hilarity ensues while she finds success at the same time drowning in debt.

I’ll start off with the good: the clothes! Patricia Field, as per usual, does a fabulous job of styling Isla Fisher’s Rebecca Bloomwood. She puts together outrageous things that no one in real life could wear, but somehow work so brilliantly on screen. My personal favorite had to be the white suit worn with a huge blue anchor pendant necklace. It was a really simple suit that, without the necklace, would have looked almost practical. But, add this huge chest-covering necklace, and you get a sense of a woman who is extravagant and stands out.

Another thing I did like about this film was its star, Isla Fisher. I don’t know much about her, so I can’t say I was going in expecting anything. She was funny and charming, even if I wasn’t that fond of the character or the story. I am interested to see what else she does down the line.

Now, on to why I didn’t like this film.

I pride myself on being logical and financially conscious. I might not be "savvy," but I do know what I spend and why I spend it. I don’t go shopping when I don’t have money and I don’t buy things to make me feel better or more complete. I might not know anything about investing or IRAs, but I know that if I don’t have enough money to pay for a new pair of shoes, I shouldn’t buy them. (Unless they are super-cute and on sale, in which case, I remind myself that credit cards were invented for such occasions. But even then, I have to really be in love, and since I’m a commitment-phobe, it’s kind of a long process.)

Anyway, I knew going in that this was a movie about a woman who couldn’t control her spending. She can’t stop herself from buying crap she doesn’t need and gets herself into all sorts of predicaments due to her debt. But, I really didn’t think about how it would make me feel. She uses labels and worthless items to validate who she is. No matter how entertaining the movie was, I couldn’t believe her total lack of self-control and how frustrating it was for me to watch. I just wanted to shake her!!! Even though she eventually grows and realizes what she has been doing, it didn’t seem to me like she had really changed. She ends up with a man who could totally support her shopping habit, therefore making the need to change unnecessary. Plus, he's her boss, so it's not like she has an issue with job security.

I had started reading the book before I went to see it, but have since stopped. The same issue that I had with film—of her not truly changing—I’m sure I’m going to have with the book. Especially since it’s a series. I understand that this is a common problem with people in America and that’s why the series is so popular, but when I’m being entertained, I rarely want something realistic. Hence the reason I watch The City.

(A little footnote: John Salley plays a former NRebbBA basketball star who attends “Shopaholics Anonymous" with Rebecca. When he came on the screen, I was the only one that laughed. No one else had any idea who he was, and, consequentially, turned and looked at me like I was crazy. Which made me laugh even harder.)

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