Chick lit meets global financial meltdown in this extremely untypical Jerry Bruckheimer production - a glossy adap of Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic bestsellers that, on the surface, plays like AmEx And The City.
Yet delve deeper and you’ll see that director PJ Hogan (Muriel’s Wedding) is actually subverting the chick flick template, satirising his scanty heroine and the consumptive lifestyle that has left her with enough bad debt to justify a government bail-out.
“They said I was a valued customer,” sighs Becky Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) when living on the never-never finally catches up with her.
“Now they send me hate mail!” Her budding journo - Carrie Bradshaw in all but cheque book - jumps at the chance of
an Ugly Betty-style job on a fashion rag ruled by fearsome editor Kristin Scott Thomas, but she somehow winds up working for handsome Brit Hugh Dancy on a financial mag preaching fiscal responsibility.
How long before he finds out she’s up to her eyes in red bills? Long enough for some amusing hijinks in Miami, less entertaining visits to Shopaholics Anonymous and a faintly creepy running gag involving mannequins that come to life.
Dancy could pass for a dummy himself as Becky’s bland love interest, while Joan Cusack and John Goodman are poorly served as her embarrassing parents.
Thank goodness, then, for the delightful Fisher, a goofily appealing presence who - as shown in a hilarious dance routine that sees her flirting coquettishly with an antique fan - also happens to be a gifted physical comedienne.
Between her and Amy Adams, it’s fair to say the position of perky ginger ingenue is pretty much taken.
More Topshop than Top Gun, this Bruckheimer effort sees Fisher finally make good on her Wedding Crashers promise in a film that manages to be both a frothy romcom and a cautionary tale on the perils of plastic splurgery.
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