Giggly Girls & Credit Cards: Confessions Of A Shopaholic

I am not a shopaholic. I’m not, I’m not, I’m not!! And for those of you who gasped in shock/amazement/incredulity (or don’t follow my idea-tweets, here are some of the Confessions of a Shopaphobic:

  • I don’t hate spending money, it’s the dressing room trials that get me down!
  • I don’t hate toting shopping bags, but I do hate it when they get crushed in the crowd!
  • I don’t regret having too much stuff; I just hate not having the place to put it all in!
  • I don’t miss having a man accompany me; I just hate not having someone else to blame my bad choices on!
  • I’ve no problem with cut-price sales; it’s the sharp nails (claws!) and trampled feet that get me down!
  • Window-shopping makes me feel like a tease: Foreplay which does not result in a climax!!
  • Environment-friendly: I’ve no problems with the price tags; I just dont like the credit card bills!!

What a pity Becky Bloomwood doesn’t know me. But if she did, we might not have the latest chick-lit offering that’s all set to send women across the world oohing, aahing, this-is-better-than-an-orgasming over it. Don’t believe me?

I picked up the first book at Heathrow airport, causing my very stiffy-upper-lipped (and cute!) British companion to remark,

That’s the one all the girls are mad about, innit?

From Mumbai to London (or should that be the other way since the heroine is British?), Sophie Kinsella is the reigning queen of chick-litdom. Her first book The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic, sparked off an American version which is the one the movie is based on, thus Becky is a dollar-billing New Yorker. As you’d expect the movie is a glitzy, glamourous look at the Big Apple where skinny women tote Prada and totter about on Gucci as they sigh in envy at skinnier women in Jimmy Choos. The look is very Sex and the City, though the feel is more candy-floss ‘Someday my prince will come’. Prepare for dreamy eyes, dreamy sighs, gush and mush.

Confessions of a Shopaholic has all the classic ingredients of a good ol’ rom-com chickflick – fabulous clothes, unrealistic (but beeyootifool) shoes, accessories to die for, great friends, kissing on the beach and a droolsome hunk (to kiss). The plotline is pretty basic (but then you weren’t into chicklit for the intriguing storylines, were you?) and sweetened with pretty faces, zippy lines and fabulous montages. If the jokes seem a little predictable, they are but then again, they’re set in candy-fluff charm so you don’t really worry too much. It’s like a little kid telling a story, you’ve heard it, you’ve seen it but she’s so cute, you can’t help but listen to it over again and applaud at the end of it. Realism is another thing that you’d be better off not expecting from this movie. It’s an all out light-hearted chickflick, not meant to be taken seriously or examined too closely. Enjoy the giggly glitz and have an evening of girly fun!

It is also rather ironic that this movie’s release coincides with a time when the US is reeling under the aftermath of its excessive (pre-consuming) consumerist lifestyle. I’m not really sure how well this movie will do in the US markets since the audience there might just find it too hard to digest the disparity between their seemingly endless problems and how the heroine’s gargantuan debts are magicked away.

The movie led me to wonder exactly what makes a person a shopaholic. There is one telling point (and the one and only profound/intelligent moment) and it comes right at the start as the heroine tells us about her childhood, growing up with sensible (read frugal and boring) parents who believed in saving for a rainy day. The child that she is, is overawed by the shiny, magical things that can be possessed by those greater beings wielding pieces of plastic. When she grows up, she never quite gets used to the feeling that she is now one of them.

I so identified with that. I always wanted to be able to walk into a shop and know I could walk out with anything that my heart desired (it was on my ‘list of things I want’, the one I made when I was seventeen). When I started working , I was beseiged with people who wanted to give me credit cards, surround me with lovely things and reward me for shopping with them. It was a heady feeling, being able to flash that shiny little piece of plastic and have them put into my hands any manner of lovely things that I didn’t need, could well live without but just…could buy!

Incidently I also really liked the interplay between the maniacally consumerist Becky Bloomwood and the straight-shooting, cool-and-sensible Girl in a green scarf. Alter egos are a special thing with me and you’ll get what I mean when you watch the movie.

Isla Fisher as the scatter-brained heroine was charming and completely believable in her wide-eyed shock/innocence/awe/mischief. Hugh Dancy played his role of Luke Brandon to the tee (but then all he really had to do was look good in that tousle-haired millionaire way). I thought Robert Stanton was hilarious as the villian (debt-collector) of this girl-fantasy – the personification of brown/gray tweedy boringness in a world of bling.

I won’t spoil the story for you though if you’re keen on watching it, you’ve probably read the series already (and need I mention, female?!). Suffice to say that if you’re looking for a warm, glamorous, mushy, sparkly, feel-good movie to giggle over with your girlfriends, queue up at the box office on Friday night!

This preview was brought to us courtesy The Social Media Catalyst. I also had the delightful company of these lovely ladies: Ankita, Tharusha, The Polka Dot and Rehab (Don’t get me started of the sheer irony of Amy Winehouse singing the movie’s theme song while I sat next to the song’s namesake!). I wore a short flowery, flowy skirt and carried a pinky-pink bag. Ankita giggled and dared us a silly dare while Tharusha smiled silent Sphinx like at ‘Do you really have to go to work tonight?’. We did some girl stuff involving Mohitos and phone number-fishing at a bar. The Polka Dot whipped off her sensational heels and changed into sensible flats just after we left. And then we giggled all the way home.

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