Confessions of a Shopaholic

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Confessions of a Shopaholic Movie Poster Image
Labels and products galore in frothy book-based romcom.
  • PG
  • 2009
  • 112 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 49 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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
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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 9 and 10 year old Written byMarilyn Mansons Mom August 1, 2009

Why is sex just an accepted thing these days, in a movie aimed at kids??

Could be a cute movie for kids, I suppose, but WWWHHHHYYYYYYY can't any move that's aimed at tweens just leave the sex out? Why do I have to feel lik... Continue reading
Adult Written byLBC March 6, 2016

Don't show to your kids if you haven't had the drinking talk yet

The movie is ok and fun, like all the others in this genre. But I am surprised that Common Sense Media's review on drinking was "some social drinking... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bySpielberg00 September 13, 2011

Terrible. Skip it.

My rating: PG [borderline with PG-13] for some language and brief alcohol use.
Kid, 10 years old April 18, 2011
shop shopSHOP!. not bad lanuage but edgy . best movie ever

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love fun, girl-centered flicks

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate