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Movie Review

Confessions of a Shopaholic a.k.a. “I Love Shopping,” “Shopaholic,” “Bájecný svet shopaholiku,” “Confessions d'une accro au shopping,” “Himoshoppaajan salaiset unelmat,” “Tajni snovi jedne sopingholicarke”

MPAA Rating: PG for some mild language and thematic elements.

Reviewed by: Misty Wagner

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens, Adults
Romance, Comedy, Adaptation
1 hr. 52 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
February 13, 2009 (wide—2,400 theaters)
Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Credit card debt

CREDIT CARDS—Should a Christian have or use credit cards? Answer

FINANCES—How can I spend my money more wisely? Answer

Apparel in the Bible

Money in the Bible

Does the Bible share any wisdom about investing? Answer

Brides in the Bible

Featuring: Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy, Joan Cusack, John Goodman, John Lithgow, Lynn Redgrave, Kristin Scott Thomas, Krysten Ritter, more »
Director: P.J. Hogan
Producer: Touchstone Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Ronald M. Bozman, Jerry Bruckheimer, Chad Oman, Mike Stenson
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

“All she ever wanted was a little credit.”

Rebbecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) is merely a girl whose entire world revolves around shopping. She compares everything good in life to the swipe of a “magic card” and proudly labels each designer purchase by the card used to acquire it. Suddenly, not only does her handbag bare the label Gucci, but it also owns the mental label of Mastercard, for Becky. Though she loves her parents and her roommate/best friend Suze (Krysten Ritter), she doesn’t try to hide that shopping—and that instant gratification feeling—are truly what she lives for.

What Becky does try to hide, however, is her mounting debt. It was likely a sad day when Becky Bloomwood discovered that her “magic cards” (12 of them, to be exact) come with a bill. In one line, she even talks about how the store card wooed her and promised her commitment and romance, but turned cold on her when mailing her a bill instead. Coinciding with the realization of her debts is the opportunity for her dream job as a columnist in a top New York City fashion magazine. Armed with what feels like an insurmountable pile of debt, Becky charges forward, finding love and growing up along the way. “Confessions of a Shopaholic” is very loosely based on the international best-selling book of the same title, by Sophie Kinsella. I say loosely because, aside from a very flexible (and small) theme of the story line, accompanied by character names, is pretty much where the similarities end. Most book lovers won’t be surprised that this isn’t a good adaptation. The film, alone, aside from the book, is cute.

Aside from some language, I can’t remember there being much that could be found offensive in this film. Although over-scripted and slightly outlandish, parts of the plot line are something that many can relate to. We’ve all, at one time or another, tried to hide our shortcomings under the bed. We’ve all likely found something to focus on, which feels like it leads us to some sort of happiness, only to find out that the happy it provides doesn’t last. It’s obvious that this film is intended to be a cute little romantic comedy, but in times of such economic distress it seems a timely and simplified metaphor of what our over indulgences can lead to. I probably wouldn’t see this movie again, but I have a feeling that girls who weren’t fans of the book prior to this movie may find themselves taken by this version of Becky.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: None

CREDIT CARDS—Should a Christian have or use credit cards? Answer

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—Fun movie. Very little offensive material. Reviewer’s comments are right on.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Dan, age 39 (USA)
Positive—I took my 16-year-old daughter to see this movie and really enjoyed it. I was hesitant, at first, but was very pleasantly surprised by the end of the movie. I think it succeeds at sending a clear message to teenagers, as well as adults, that “things” can’t make someone truly happy and that if we truly reflect, most of us have more than we truly need to succeed in life. I loved the humor and light romance in the movie. Although a bit whimsical at times, I think it’s a refreshing movie that will show teenagers what the results are of overindulgence, selfishness and poor credit management.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Julie M, age 40 (USA)
Positive—I believe that the reason the reviewer rated this movie as offensive is because the main character oftentimes lies to cover up her spending habit. But the movie as a whole was not offensive in the way most Hollywood films are offensive nowadays. There was no nudity, no sex scenes, minor language (I believe I counted 2 curse words). I do not recall the Lord’s name being taken in vain.

My husband and I went in looking for a feel-good, wholesome, lighthearted romantic comedy, and for the most part that’s what we got.

The actors were all terrific. The “chemistry” was there. The storyline was interesting (not deep, somewhat predictable, but still pleasant and interesting). I laughed and smiled a lot throughout the film. I felt good as I walked out of the theater.

And I even thought that the movie did a good job of showing why people are shopaholics and how this addiction is so dangerous. The message was not so heavy as to detract from the feel-good angle of the movie, but it did try to display how ridiculous and shallow it is to be so defined by things of this world.

Was the movie perfect? No. But I did not feel ashamed at myself for sitting there viewing it, nor did I feel the need to rush out and demand my money back. And that’s saying a lot these days!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Annie, age 43 (USA)
Positive—The movie was pretty good. I think younger people would enjoy it more, but it is good for most age groups. Its got a little of everything in it. Shopping, love, friendship, work, and even money. The only problem for younger kids with this movie is that there is a drunk scene. Its not a big deal though. She is with her friend in her house drinking. So other than that I think the movie was very good.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Brigit, age 25 (USA)
Positive—Today, I took my three younger children to view this movie. I was pleasantly surprised. The main character often lies about her spending to cover up what she is doing. After the movie my daughters and I had a great discussion about the perils of using credit cards. One of my daughters even told me, “Mom, I’ll keep you from becoming a shopaholic, and you keep me.” Any movie that gets my kids talking to me about issues that I feel are important is good in my book. The acting was good, and other then a couple of uses of bad language, I thought the film was on the whole a positive experience.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Sharon, age 32 (USA)
Positive—I thought this was a charming movie, beautifully played by Isla Fisher. The casting in general was very good, with nice performances by John Lithgow, Kristen Scott Thomas, Hugh Dancy and of course Joan Cusack and John Goodman. There was some comedy that was a bit over the top, but created the fun for which it was intended. I have read the secular reviews of this movie and don’t agree with them at all. This is a well-written, well-paced movie about a likeable woman who gets into trouble with her credit cards. There is a strong moral message about the perils of over-spending, wanton materialism and debt. I think I would see it again if it came on tv, just because of the light hearted nature of the movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Halyna Barannik, age 62 (USA)
Positive—…“Confessions” is a genuinely fun and perfectly harmless film. Husbands, I suggest you score 2 tickets and surprise your wives with dinner and a movie.

“Confessions” truthfully portrays the great tragedy of greed, that the acquisition of material possessions is incredibly addicting, but equally destructive; and that if we try to fill our souls with the things of this world we will end up emptier than when we began. What could be more biblically accurate in a secular movie, or timely in an advertisement-flooded nation, than to suggest that the hungers of the human heart are not satisfied by “the things of this world”?

This film only compounds its virtues by introducing a romance that is as innocent as it is passionate. No one cheats on anyone in this film. The lead couple does not hop into bed without exchanging rings. And both the man and woman portray biblical character traits of strong leadership and charming beauty, respectively.

Virtually every moral misstep ends in misfortune, and every moral triumph ends in an improved quality of life. If anything, God rewards the righteous MORE in this movie than in real life, and in that sense it is a bit of a fairytale. …
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—SeanB, age 28 (USA)
Positive—Saw it last night with my friend (Mom’s night out) and we were both VERY PLEASANTLY surprised! It was not a movie I had heard much about so we chose it over the other serious or doom and gloom selections. We wanted lighthearted and funny and that is what we got.

Isla Fisher plays this role to a tee and it is enjoyable to watch her. I look forward to seeing her in other similar roles. The supporting actors give fine performances as well.

I highly recommend this movie to other women, mothers and older teenage daughters and even to couples looking for a fun/romantic story. I was really impressed with the fact that there were only a few mild instances that could be considered objectionable… the drinking scene, the use of the “b” word and the word “prostitute” when referring to her nemesis. It was nice not to feel guilty or sinful when leaving the theater afterwards… experienced an overall happy mood! Would definitely go see this again!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Michele, age 42 (USA)


Negative—If it hadn’t had all that taking of Our Creator’s name in vain repeatedly (IMO), it would have been more enjoyable to me. I did not see any sexual immorality, and it did have it’s funny points where even I laughed, but I would not want my child thinking this is ok, nor would I really want to watch this again. I would not recommend watching this if such things offend you, unless you have curse free, Guardian TV, or other such device. I am surprised that there are no negative or even neutral views because of this. Had it not had taking His name in vain in there, it could have received a good or excellent rating from me, and I could have possibly bought it after renting. Why do movie producers feel this is even necessary? I just feel let down and disappointed that it had this problem in it. It’s like eating something I know tastes “good” now but gives heartburn or sickness (bad feelings) later.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—anonymous, age 33 (USA)
Negative—…most of the movie showed the main character’s bust. It was completely annoying, as my husband and I went to the movie theater to watch it. In addition to that annoyance, the movie didn’t really have a good story line and was a bit tacky. I do not recommend this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Jenny, age 30 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—I went to go see this movie with my mom and my sister. I really enjoyed this movie and thought that it was very clever and funny. There was some language and one scene of drinking (this is why the moral rating is offensive), but besides that, I thought the movie has a very good message.

The end of the movie was awesome! Rebecca (the main character) breaks her habits and learns that clothes shouldn’t define you. She also learns self control and that her friends are way more important than a new dress. She also develops a better relationship with her parents than she had at the beginning of the movie.

I wouldn’t recommend this movie for anyone under the age of 11, but my mom and I enjoyed it and are very glad that we went to see it!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Laurie, age 15 (USA)
Positive—This was a great movie. Not only was this movie funny and entertaining it had a really great message about how life doesn’t get better when u buy stuff and that there’s more important things in the world than clothes and other items and in the end she was so much happier. This is a great family movie!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Brooklynn, age 13 (USA)
Positive—I thought this was a very sweet, hilarious movie. I went to it with a friend and we were both laughing throughout the whole thing! (except for the sad parts)

It had very good lessons about not lying and how people can get addicted to shopping and using their credit cards. My only cautions would be one part where the main character and her friend get rip-roaring drunk, and another scene where it shows an engaged couple in bed even though they’re not married yet. And the phrase “stick your job up your a--” is used two or three times. But other than that I thought it was a fun chick flick. Just not for girls under thirteen.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Katie, age 16 (USA)
Positive—I think this movie was very good. There was not any Christian or “belief” talk, but I think that it was a good fun movie. It was not a movie supposed to be for religion, so that would explain the lack of it. It was, in my opinion, a very good family movie. There was no language that I can remember. The actors/actresses did very well, and there was no inappropriate behavior. I think it was a VERY well made movie, and it was worth the money.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Em, age 12 (USA)
Positive—This was a very good movie. Based on the title, “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” I thought that this would be a very girly kind of movie. I myself am not that much of a “girly-girl” and expected this film to be a bore. However, my sister wanted to rent it, so I ended up watching it anyway. This movie was a pleasant surprise.

It is not an overly girly movie, and I found it very entertaining. There is no sexual humor or anything of the such. However, it is a very humorous film.

The main character, Rebecca Bloomwood, makes a lot of poor decisions. She lies to her friends, gets drunk, and spends so much money on her credit cards that she ends up over nine-thousand dollars in debt. In the end, these decisions backfire. Her getting drunk creates a mixup that messes up her job. Lying to her friends creates friction between them. And, well, getting into that large a debt gives Rebbecca an extreme wake-up call. The movie teaches good moral lessons. Living within your means and not lying is clearly promoted.

There were a couple of objectionable spots. To begin with, Rebecca really likes a guy at her office but discovers that his girlfriend might actually be another girl named Eliza. Everything about Eliza is perfect. Rebecca gets really angry and, while talking to her friend, refers to the other girl as “Eliza bitch longlegs.” This was somewhat inappropriate. The use of the word “ass” occured once, but only briefly. The only other objectionable thing occuccured during the end credits. Rebbecca is speaking as the credits go by and she mentions that, since she has given up shopping, she has had the time to learn how to speak the launguage of Finland. A small, short video clip appears. In it, Rebecca is talking to a client from Finland, speaking the Finland lanuage, and introducing Eliza, who she hates. On the bottom of the video is text to explain what Rebecca is really saying. The text reads: “This is Eliza. She is a famous prostitute.” This was a lie, obviously, but very funny. It was, however, inappropriate for young viewers.

Overall, “Confessions of a Shopaholic” was a funny, clean, morally correct movie, that, despite its slow points, gave me a good laugh.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Laura, age 12 (USA)