There was a time when Disney would give audiences a fresh, vibrant new form of silliness that actually had heart, warmth and enjoyment running through its filmic blood. But Confessions of a Shopaholic marked a new low for the studio’s live-action output.
This dire piece of messy comedy is adapted from Sophie Kinsella’s much-loved series, but doesn’t hold onto their charm or originality. Instead Isla Fisher is wheeled in (doing her best, bless her) playing an American Bridget Jones who, instead of using cigarettes and food to indulge her vices, throws around credit cards, attempting to buy everything carrying a Prada label. This, she finds, comes in useful when she starts masquerading as a columnist working for Hugh Dancy.
Mr Dancy is the only redeeming feature. Kristen Scott Thomas as fashion magazine editor, on the other hand, is an embarrassment. I don’t know what she was thinking when she took on this role (probably the cheque at the end), but it’s distressing to see an actress of her calibre lowering herself to this level.
It is also fairly insulting that we are supposed to believe the type of ridiculous narcissistic shit our Shopaholic writes is worthy of publication. Quotes of it are spoken aloud by characters as if they are discovering the joys of Shakespeare for the first time. Oh please.
Really, this film just proves two things that we already knew to be true: Disney have lost their heart and soul (or at least when they don’t have Pixar to hold their hands) and Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced this, just doesn’t make good films.
Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009), directed by P. J. Hogan, is available on Blu-ray disc and DVD from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, Certificate PG.
‘BOTTOM OF THE BARREL’ is a new strand of articles and reviews that focus on the very worst films out there. Our ‘ARCHIVE’ section aims to promote cinema as an art and, although the reviewers may find fault with certain aspects of the film, these are the movies they feel deserve to be remembered. ‘BOTTOM OF THE BARREL’, however, serves as a warning to viewers. These are the films best left in the ex-rental bin.
N.B. The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the writer of the particular piece, and are not necessarily shared by the rest of the film writers on The Edge, or the publication as a whole.