As a devoted fan of Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series, I felt the familiar excitement mixed with hesitation when I sat down to watch Confessions of a Shopaholic film. Would this be an adaptation which stayed true to the book, or would it be nothing more than a dismal replica?
For the first twenty minutes or so, I struggled to enjoy the film, unhappy that my beloved characters had been uprooted and moved to New York. The main character, Becky Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) worked as well as a vapid American as a ditzy Englishwoman, but her best friend Suze (Krysten Ritter) irked me. She did not survive the Americanization well, becoming little more than a Becky-clone when stripped of her upper-class English persona. I found myself picking up on every little difference and omission (and believe me, there are many), and I thought that I wasn’t going to make it to the end of the film.
But then Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy) appeared, and my worries melted away. Because he may not have been exactly the same Luke as he was in the books, but he was still perfect. From then on I was able to relax and enjoy the film, seeing that although the plot and the characters had been adapted for the screen, it was still at times laugh-out-loud funny, and surprisingly true to the spirit, if not the minute details, of the original.
The fashion references were also divine, and I lusted after a large proportion of Becky’s wardrobe, but what I really liked about Confessions of a Shopaholic was that this was fashion with morals. While many will have laughed at the ridiculous situations which Becky landed herself in through a combination of white lies and one too many store cards, many will also have sympathised with her plight, which highlights the very real dangers of overspending (although if mannequins ever come to life for you like they do for Becky you may want to consider visiting a doctor rather than a Shopaholics Anonymous class).
A (just slightly) exaggerated tale of love, friendship and shoes, Confessions of a Shopaholic is definitely a worthwhile watch – just don’t expect it to stick too closely to the book!