Confessions of a Shopaholic

  • Review Date: June 21, 2009
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 112 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Labels and products galore in frothy book-based romcom.
  • Review Date: June 21, 2009
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 112 minutes

Age(i)

2
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5
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7
8
9
10
11
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15
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A woman shops endlessly despite being deeply in debt and lies to everyone about her habit -- she even riles up a Shopaholics Anonymous meeting and nearly has everyone running to the mall. But she means well and clearly values friendships and relationships. Still, her character could be seen as reinforcing several broad stereotypes about women, from being fashion-obssessed to being clueless about money. The movie also emphasizes consumption and materialism in a time when many moviegoers are facing severe financial struggles.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Flirting and some kissing.

Language

Pretty mild and infrequent. Words include "ass," "crap," "bitch," "hell," and "oh my God."

Consumerism

The movie is all about shopping and consumerism, so, not surprisingly, there's tons of high-end product placement, with signage and/or products from Asprey, Henri Bendel, Barney's New York, Cartier, Yves Saint Laurent, Prada, Border's, Gucci, and more.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some social drinking among adults.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although most of the content in this by-the-book romantic comedy is age-appropriate for older tweens and young teens (there's little swearing and drinking and no nudity or violence), it's swimming in consumerism and high-end product placement and reinforces some broad stereotypes about women. Despite being chastened in the end, the main character seems downright naïve -- and a tad unapologetic -- about her shop-'til-you're-bankrupt ways. Kids may enjoy the fantasy, but parents may find that the frothy "escapism" feels out of place in these unsettled economic times.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

After a chance encounter, twentysomething writer Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) leaves her boring job at a trade publication behind for a stint at Successful Savings, a money magazine she hopes will be a stepping stone to her dream job at Vogue-like style tome Alette. Rebecca's a diehard fashionista with a talent for churning out readable, enjoyable copy -- a skill that has turned her into something of a finance guru. Ironically, she pays for her chic splurges with credit cards, and she's so woefully in debt that a collector's nipping at her Manolos. How will she outwit him and prevent her handsome editor, Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy), from discovering that she's a finance "whiz" who may be destined for the poorhouse?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Here's the question that runs through your mind after watching CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC: Is that all there is to it? (Which makes it a little like shopping on credit cards.) Delightful in parts but regrettably not as a whole, the movie can't seem to decide what audiences should take away from it. The shopping segments are all Sex and the City-style aspiration, but the guilt is soon heaped on in piles. What, then, is the point of dwelling on the buying binges? Had the movie amped up the fantasy part and toned down the finger-wagging, it would've been first-class escapism. As it stands, it's a lot like having your credit card denied at the checkout -- oh, what a buzz kill!

Fisher tries hard to make a go of the enterprise, but she can't rescue the film's flawed script. A jumble of plot points raises the stakes but doesn't pay off, characters who seem important early on disappear later, and nearly every role is a romcom stereotype -- the eccentric-but-lovable lead; the gawky, fun best friend; the slightly brooding, self-serious romantic interest. It's too bad, really, because on paper, Shopaholic had the makings of a blockbuster: inspired by bestselling novels, beautiful New York as its backdrop, and a stellar cast (especially supporting players like John Goodman and Joan Cusack). It's an impulse buy you may not fully regret, but one you won't love, either.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Rebecca's nonstop shopping and spending. Is her behavior really all that unusual, or do lots of people overspend? What makes shopping so addictive for some people? And what are the real-life consequences of behavior like Rebecca's? Do you think the movie makes her behavior seem acceptable? Is she intended to be a role model? If so, what "lessons" is she teaching teen girls about responsibility? In the end, what message do you think the movie sends teens about the importance of high-end brands and having lots of stuff?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 13, 2009
DVD release date:June 23, 2009
Cast:Hugh Dancy, Isla Fisher, Joan Cusack
Director:P.J. Hogan
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Book characters
Run time:112 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some mild language and thematic elements

This review of Confessions of a Shopaholic was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Written byAnonymous February 28, 2014
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Typical Chick Flick

I love chick flicks, but I found this one dull. I like the love interest, but I found the female lead character annoying. The end was also kind of inconclusive.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byKatie-Kakes October 29, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Loved it

this is a brilliant movie for the whole family to enjoy. lots of shopping, shoes and bags but a great moive
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old April 18, 2011
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
shop shopSHOP!. not bad lanuage but edgy . best movie ever
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, -1 years old August 8, 2010
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

watch it

Why is this movie even rated 12+?????? There's nothing that inappropriate! If you wanna watch it alone i think you should be about 8, if you wanna watch it with your parents about 6 but if you're 5 I don't recommend it

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