Friday, February 13, 2009
"Shopaholic" proves easy to resist
How lightweight an affair is "Confessions of a Shopaholic?" Put it this way: This woeful piece of fluff makes "Sex and the City" look like something out of Eugene O'Neill. Based on books by Sophie Kinsella, the movie follows the exploits of Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) as she negotiates her way through the New York magazine world while battling an insatiable shopping addiction. Her British boss (Hugh Dancy) struck me as a poor man's Hugh Grant, a dispiriting thought because Grant himself can seem a bit second-hand. Fisher, who grew up in Australia, seems intent on proving that she's the hardest working woman in show business. You could work up a sweat just watching her. A negligible supporting cast includes John Lithgow, Joan Cusack, Kristin Scott-Thomas and John Goodman. In all, "Confessions" feels like a low-rent version of other so-called "chic flicks," notably "The Devil Wears Prada." Calculated (boy is it ever) to speak to its target demographic -- teen and slightly upward, "Confessions of a Shopaholic" seems like a knockoff rather than the real thing. Like many knockoffs, it doesn't wear well.
"FRIDAY THE 13TH" TRIES FOR NEW LIFE
Also, opening this week: "Friday the 13th,'' a remake of a touchstone bit of 1980 horror that spawned numerous gory sequels. Marcus Nispel, who provided a similar update of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" in 2003 follows the expected formula, which should please a new generation of viewers eager to watch young people hacked to death at Camp Crystal Lake. The words "offensive" and "gratuitous" must be applied here, and I wondered why a little more originality couldn't have been shown. Think of the possibilities had Jason -- the killer with the hockey mask -- been let loose in "Confessions of a Shopaholic." At the very least, he could have chopped up all those credit cards.