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‘Shopaholic’ strays from source material

Fri., Feb. 13, 2009

The character of Rebecca Bloomwood, as written by author Sophie Kinsella in her “Confessions of a Shopaholic” series, has plenty of foibles.

Sure, she can’t pass up a sale. That doesn’t stop the character from being intelligent. Bored, maybe, but not dumb.

Yet P.J. Hogan has directed the smarts right out of the character for his film version of the best-selling book. He turns a potentially smart movie about a quirky young woman into a situation comedy.

Instead of an intelligent conversation about the high cost of love or a new pair of Prada shoes, Hogan falls back on pratfalls, funny faces and what looks like leftovers from episodes of “Will & Grace.”

Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) is a journalist with a gardening magazine who longs to work for an “Ugly Betty”-style fashion magazine. Instead of landing her dream job, she gets hired to write a business column.

Under the nom de plume of The Girl in the Green Scarf, she offers a fashionable perspective on high finance. She gets more than a job when she falls for her new boss (Hugh Dancy).

Every aspect of this movie has been done better elsewhere. Hogan should have been more confident in the intelligence of the source material. His direction results in a major fashion faux pas.

For times and locations, see page 6.



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