A new job? Hopefully. A new man? Possibly. A new handbag? Absolutely!
Director: P.J Hogan
Writer(s): Tracey Jackson, Tim Firth, Kayla Alpert, based on the book by Sophie Kinsella
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Filming: Filmed in New York City, Miami, and Connecticut in the USA, between February 4th and May 12th 2008.
Box Office: Grossed $108,333,222 in total worldwide. $64,055,872 of that total came from outside the US. Took $15,066,360 on opening weekend in the US, landing at #4 on the BO charts there. Took £2,846,622 on UK opening weekend. Made a total of $6,577,386 in Australia, $12,129,944 in the UK, and $6,192,300 in Italy.
Runtime: 104 minutes
In the glamorous world of New York City, Rebecca Bloomwood (ISLA FISHER) is a fun-loving girl who is really good at shopping—a little too good, perhaps. She dreams of working for her favorite fashion magazine, but can’t quite get her foot in the door—until ironically, she snags a job as an advice columnist for a financial magazine published by the same company. As her dreams are finally coming true, she goes to ever more hilarious and extreme efforts to keep her past from ruining her future.
Hugh Dancy … as Luke Brandon
Krysten Ritter … as Suze
Joan Cusack … as Jane Bloomwood
John Goodman … as Graham Bloomwood
John Lithgow … as Edgar West
Kristin Scott Thomas … as Alette Naylor
Leslie Bibb … as Alicia Billington
Lynn Redgrave … as Drunken Lady at Ball
Robert Stanton … as Derek Smeath
Nick Cornish … as Tarquin
Released first in Russia, on February 1st 2009, followed by the US on February 13th. The UK released followed a week later, on February 20th, and it got to Australia on March 12th. Releases across the world followed throughout March and April, including March 20th in India, March 27th in Spain, and April 10th in Brazil. Japan were last to get the film in their cinemas, on May 20th 2009.
Isla plays Becky Bloomwood, the infamous shopaholic from the popular chick-lit books by Sophie Kinsella. Becky is sweet yet ditzy, with a slight impulse control problem and questionnable logic. She also has a little addiction. She’s ambitious and determined – she knows she is meant to work at fashion magazine Alette, and she will do anything to get there … even taking a job at a magazine about saving money – not really Becky’s thing! But at the centre of it, Becky has a heart of gold, and her parents and best friend Suze mean everything to her. And embarking upon a relationship with editor and entrepreneur Luke Brandon teaches her the difference between cost and value.
• Isla’s favourite book in the Shopaholic series (as of 2008), is ‘Shopaholic & Baby’.
• Isla says that whilst working with Patricia Field on this movie it made her more adventurous and brave with her wardrobe. But she sooned slipped back into comfy mode after filming!
• Isla’s costumes were “breast-feeding proof”, she says, as she was breastfeeding Oliver whilst shooting the movie.
• Producer Jerry Bruckheimer hired Isla a personal trainer to help her get back into shape for the movie after the birth of Olive. Isla did not enjoy this, and the trainer said she has a ‘bad attitude’! Isla admits she continued eating what she wanted, even hiding cakes behind her back! She says she thought it was breastfeeding that really got her back into shape, not the diet and exercise regime.
• When asked what she thought about the end result of the movie, Isla said that she finds it hard to be objective about it as she worked so hard and so closely on it. She was “happy” with it, though.
• When asked whether she identified with her character Becky, Isla said that she thinks that she is optimistic like her, and has the same great relationship with her family and friends. Isla adds that when she was younger she was similarly imaginative with her excuses!
• Isla did have input into the styling of Becky, and was particularly keen to make sure Becky’s outfits weren’t too “wacky” so as to make her seem unrelatable.
• Sophie Kinsella was on the set a lot during filming.
• Isla’s shopping weakness is books!
• Isla’s favourite outfit from the film was the purple dress Becky wore for her TV appearance. Isla called the dress “classy”.
• Describes working on this project as an “amazing, rewarding creative experience for me”.
• Isla did not have to audtion for this role – she met with producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director P.J. Hogan and they chatted about the character, and Isla pitched some ideas and jokes she had. Next thing she knew she was told she had the part!
• Isla went to Spenders Anonymous and Underearners and Overspenders groups to research her role.
• Isla enjoyed speaking Finnish in the movie!
• Isla admits she had some trepidation about making Becky American because she thought so much of the wit of the book was British, but felt more at ease about this when author Sophie Kinsella gave the film her approval and was on the set regularly.
– Isla Fisher: “How am I on a poster? Somebody has given me a movie. It’s a little unnerving.”
– Isla Fisher: “Shooting the lead of a movie is something I’ve never done before – it’s a test of endurance,” she says. You’ve only got a certain amount of time to shoot a lot of material and I’d never considered that before I had started shooting. When you play support you get to go there muck around and go home. With the lead, you’re there all day everyday for three months so Home and Away, which was those hours, prepared me. You have to make sure you eat all the time and make sure you conserve your energy off camera because we covered so much material in such a short amount of time.”
– Isla Fisher: “I wanted her in very high heels because there’s nothing funnier than a comedic character tottering on really high heels.”
– Isla Fisher: “I shop rarely and poorly. When I shop, I just want to get in and out. I have a mission and I fulfil it.”
– Isla Fisher: “Obviously, it’s timely. But when we conceived the movie, it was a different economic period. The lesson Rebecca learns in the movie is a lesson we’re learning painfully. But the movie takes a responsible tone.”
– Isla Fisher: “I’ve had the idea for that scene in my mind for about five years and never found the right movie to put it into. There’s something funny about a girl trying to seduce a guy by doing what she thinks is a sexy dance that’s actually repulsive.”
– Isla Fisher: “It was a big responsibility to do something that I’d never done before. I knew I was responsible for the tone of the movie in a way that I wasn’t as a supporting castmember. Then add onto that the pressure of playing a character from beloved books. The idea that I’d do any disservice to Rebecca Bloomwood in the books was very nerve-wracking.” (on headlining a movie for the first time.)
– Isla Fisher: “I identified with her in the sense that I would like to think that I am optimistic and energetic like she is. I would also like to think that I have a big heart, like Rebecca has. I don’t need to always identify with all the characteristics of my character, sometimes it is the differences that help you to lose your inhibitions when you are performing.”
– Isla Fisher: “She’s incredibly imaginative. She’s not married to any designers and she’s open minded. Every single look tells a story. I really enjoyed working with her. I’m not a Fashionista. I don’t have much experience in that world, but I felt I was kind of educated in the end and that even my own fashion style is now sort of braver. I enjoy dressing a lot more.” (on working with costume designer Patricia Field.)
– Isla Fisher: “When you’re in the lead of a movie suddenly you’re more responsible for the tone of the film and there’s obviously the added pressure of taking on such a beloved character. But I was so fortunate in that I was truly the biggest fan of Sophie Kinsella’s books. It’s going to sound pretentious, but I’d had the vibrations of that character since I’d read it in my imagination. When I met with Jerry and discussed the role, I was so lucky he chose me, and then I just thought about it every day, in everything I did, whether I was driving my car, or cooking. Whatever I was doing, I was thinking about Becky Bloomwood and what she would be thinking”
– Isla Fisher: “It’s supposed to be over the top — a mixture of high fashion and high street.” (on Becky’s fashion)
– Isla Fisher: “The first fitting was twelve hours long and I lost the will to live at about two hours. We were having conversations about belts that went for 45 minutes… about a belt. I was starting to sweat, I couldn’t handle it at all. As I got used to the process, it was really an education.”
– Isla Fisher: “It’s all about the character and the screenplay. You get everything to tell a good story. I do love the character. Becky Bloomwood is such a unique, fresh, interesting young girl. I think it’s empowerment for women.”
– Isla Fisher: “Imagine how disappointed I would’ve been as a fan of the books if an actress didn’t capture the essence of Rebecca Bloomwood.”
– Isla Fisher: “I have read all the shopaholic books and love them all – I loved that they tap into the collective consumer conscience.”
– Isla Fisher: “What I really loved about Hugh is that he came to the movie and took it seriously as if he was in a dramatic movie, which was so important. As a result, he played the greatest straight man and it gave me, playing Becky Bloomwood, somewhere to go and to be more outrageous. The comedy was grounded in reality because of him. He brought so much integrity and heart to the film.”
– Isla Fisher: “I remember on day one I looked over at Krysten’s page and she had written all these notes, all these alternative lines. I’m the only actor that I’ve worked with that does that and I saw straightaway that she was a soul sister because she was already trying to improvise some funny and comedic stuff.” (on working with Krysten Ritter)
– Isla Fisher: “I loved working with Joan Cusack too. She was interesting, and I learned a lot from her. She improvised a lot, keeping it really fresh. And John Goodman, I’ve loved him since ‘The Big Lebowski.’ But working with Kristin Scott Thomas was incredible. That woman — I knew she could make us weep, but to watch her make us laugh, as well. I just thought, she’s the real deal. And her accent in the movie is hilarious. And just her approach — she comes to work and seems as though she hasn’t even read the scene and then she starts to work and it’s just magical. She is absolutely amazing.”
– Isla Fisher: “Becky Bloomwood’s such a unique, fresh, interesting young girl who embodies a lot of what young girls around the world deal with. They deal with their credit cards. They deal with their workplace. They deal with a job that they don’t really like and how to get out of it. I think it’s a real empowerment, it’s empowerment for women. This girl comes through the movie, starts out in one place and ends up in another place much more positive than where she started. She finds romance. She finds something she really loves doing.”
– Isla Fisher: “Absolutely not. Because Rebecca Bloomwood has fantastic style and I can pretty much guarantee that Bruno has awful style.” (on whether she and Sacha argue about whether Bruno or Rebecca have the best style.)
– Isla Fisher: “He came to my house; and actually he wanted to come round every single day and I couldn’t have that. So I got it down to three times a week, but he was all about lifestyle. There was a list of things I couldn’t eat – it was so long, there was nothing left that I could eat! It was awful.” (on the trainer that producer Jerry Bruckheimer hired for her.)
– Isla Fisher: “I had to lead this double life where I was pretending I was being really good, when secretly I had cakes stuffed in my anorak pockets and I had to shove them into my mouth when he was turned the other way. One time, I’d eaten already french fries and a hamburger and had a really awful day. I confessed that I’d eaten one bread roll – I lied about everything else – and he almost cried. He was like ‘we have 8 weeks to go, 8 weeks!’ And I thought, oh no, imagine if he had any idea what I was actually getting up to behind his back. He was very good and he had all these stretchy ropes, and he made me do all these exercises. But you know, I was breast-feeding (and I still am) and I think that’s what keeps the weight off.” (on the trainer that producer Jerry Bruckheimer hired for her.)
– Isla Fisher: “If Shopaholic is a hit, then it was Isla Fisher in the movie, and if it doesn’t work out, it was Amy Adams.” (joking about being mistaken for Amy Adams.)
– Sophie Kinsella: “I thought Isla did an amazing job.”
– Sophie Kinsella: “I just thought Isla Fisher was wonderful. She’s just so spirited and funny but kind of got the sweetness of Becky too. She’s very, very funny. What she’s great at, actually, is physical comedy. And I was awestruck, really, by how she could walk into a door and make it look funny. She could fall over and make it look funny. She’s very gifted, I think.”
– Jerry Bruckheimer (producer): “She’s a wonderful dramatic actress. This movie wouldn’t work without the ability she has to pull that character off and see that she is serious.”
– P.J Hogan: “I love improvisation and she has a real gift for it.”
– Hugh Dancy: “You can see in the movie the range that she has.”
– Hugh Dancy: “You’re there every day of the week, long hours, but just constantly bringing new ideas – I think that’s her strength – throwing new things into the mix, new jokes. And running the risk that they don’t all work, and then you pick yourself up and start again. So, I was very, very impressed by her.”
– Kristin Scott Thomas: “I just – I really like Isla Fisher. And I just liked the screenplay. It was really funny. It made me laugh. And it was a few days.” (on why she wanted to do this movie)
– Patricia Field: “I found Isla to be flirty and fetching, with a twinkle in her eye. She’s petite and cute, but has a sexy Cheshire cat quality that inspired me to dress her the way I did.”
– Patricia Field: “It is colourful, glamorous and sexy with great accessories, bags, scarves and belts. The style is young and fresh, younger than “Sex and the City” or “The Devil Wears Prada”.
– Patricia Field: “Rebecca is put together as though she is in designer clothes all the time, even if she isn’t wearing designer clothes. She tends to wear sexy, short dresses and skirts without being too overt, and coordinates her outfit with a bright-coloured coat.”
– Patricia Field: “She was extremely positive and energised. Everything Isla does in the film is put together with a fashion consciousness. It’s my job to get under the skin of the actors and really understand them in order to dress them. Isla came up with wonderful ideas and her own concerns and really contributed to the look.”
– Leslie Bibb: “I play Isla Fisher’s nemesis so I get to be a lovely little villain with her. Love Isla. It’s a great cast.”
– Jerry Bruckheimer: “Somebody saw an early cut and told me, ‘God, I haven’t been so excited about an actress since I saw Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman’. Isla is such a gifted actress and comedienne. Clearly she’s going to be a star.”
– Jerry Bruckheimer: “She’s vivacious, she’s funny, she’s a wonderful dramatic actress, which this movie wouldn’t work without the ability she has to pull that character off and see that she is serious. The comedic part, we saw what she could do in Wedding Crashers and some of her other work, but the real surprise is that she’s a wonderful dramatic actress.”
– Denny & George Clerk: “Declined.”
– Rebecca: “Can you try again?”
– Denny & George Clerk: “Really declined.”
– Rebecca: “When I was 7 most of my friends stopped believing in magic. That’s when I first started. They were beautiful, they were happy. They didn’t even need any money, they had magic cards.”
– Rebecca: “You know that thing when you see someone cute and he smiles and your heart kind of goes like warm butter sliding down hot toast? Well that’s what it’s like when I see a store. Only it’s better.”
– Rebecca: “Men like you are the reason I left Finland.”
– Rebecca: “Yes, I Googled.”
– Rebecca: [to Luke] “You speak Prada?”
– Rebecca: “When I shop, the world gets better, and the world is better, but then it’s not, and I need to do it again.”
– Luke: “Any financial stories that have caught your eye recently?”
– Rebecca: “Yes. And I am glad you brought that up. Because I am furious. No, I really am. I mean, what is the story with the recent fish crisis?”
– Luke: “Fish crisis?”
– Rebecca: [hesitates] “Fiscal… crisis.”
– Luke: “Fiscal crisis.”
– Rebecca: “Terrifying, Fiscally, I mean.”
– Luke: “How so?”
– Rebecca: “For the… fiscal family.”
– Hayley: [interrupts] “I’m sorry…”
– Luke: “Not a moment too soon.”
– Rebecca: “A man will never love you or treat you as well as a store. If a man doesn’t fit, you can’t exchange him seven days later for a gorgeous cashmere sweater. And a store always smells good. A store can awaken a lust for things you never even knew you needed. And when your fingers first grasp those shiny, new bags… oh yes… oh yes.”
– Rebecca: “They said I was a valued customer. Now they send me hate mail.”
– Tarquin: “Why do so many of your excuses involve Finland?”
– Rebecca: “Because nobody checks up on Finland,Tarkie.”
– Rebecca: “Don’t talk about Fluke.”
– Suze: “Why? What happened?”
– Rebecca: “Alicia Bitch Longlegs is what happened.”
– Suze: “I hate her. Who is she?”
– Rebecca: “And all I would say, is that you never hear anyone say, ‘There goes a zebra with a small ass.'”
[Becky and Suze are going through her bills to try to work out the extent of her debts]
– Suze: “I’ll do this. It can’t be that bad. It’s just like a band-aid. It’s gonna be fine. [Suze opens the envelope] Bex! Two hundred dollars on Marc Jacobs underwear?”
– Rebecca: “Oh, underwear is a basic, human, right.”
– Suze: “Seventy eight dollars on lavender honey?”
– Rebecca: “I felt sorry for the shop assistant. She had a lazy eye. I didn’t know which way she was looking! I didn’t know if she was looking at me, it was so sad.”
– Suze: “I can’t even talk about this one.”
[Becky and Suze are watching a shopping addiction self-help video Suze found for her]
– Garret E. Barton [on video]: “Control Your Urge to Shop, with Garrett E. Barton. That’s me. Do you find yourself constantly drawn toward stores?”
– Suze: “Yes.”
– Rebecca: “Nope.”
– Garret E. Barton [on video]: “Does your heart quicken when you see new merchandise in neatly stacked piles?
– Suze: “Yes!”
– Rebecca: “No…”
– Suze: “This guy’s good.”
– Garret E. Barton [on video]: “Did you answer “no” to these questions and are consequently in denial?”
– Suze: “Yes.”
– Rebecca: “No.”
– Garret E. Barton [on video]: “Did you just say “no” again?”
– Rebecca: “No … yes.”
• Roger Ebert: “At the center of this maelstrom is a genuinely funny comedienne named Isla Fisher. She reminds me of Lucille Ball, and not only because she’s a redhead. She does one of the most difficult things any actress can do, which is physical comedy: Walk into doors, drop trays, fall into people, go ass over teakettle. It is to the credit of the director, P.J. Hogan of “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” that he gives Fisher freedom and yet modulates it, so her character’s earnest desire to please shines through.”
• Rolling Stone: “Confessions is no more than a painless time-waster. But the beguiling Fisher is well worth the investment.”
• Total Film: “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.”
• New York Times: “If nothing else, the director P. J. Hogan actually seems to like Rebecca, which is understandable, given that she’s played by the professionally adorable Ms. Fisher. A gifted physical comedian whose top-heavy frame always seems to be listing forward, as if she were anxious to get to the next scene, Ms. Fisher plays Rebecca as a lovable dingbat who’s not remotely as silly as her towering heels suggest.”
• Entertainment Weekly: “This is a role you would imagine might be filled, with cheesy-klutzy charm, by Kate Hudson or Sandra Bullock. But Fisher has her own brain-working-a-mile- a-minute adorable magnetism, with eyes that widen like a naughty child’s and a smile so vivacious it could light up the next three rooms. Breathless and petite yet powerfully in-your-face, Fisher combines dizzy femininity and no-nonsense verve in the manner of a classic screwball heroine. She’s like Carole Lombard reborn as a tiny angel-faced dynamo.”
• TV Guide: ” The editing and the writing are over the top, but the performances — aside from Isla Fisher’s — aren’t comically overstated enough; everybody underplays when they needed to play to the back of the theater. Fisher is the only one who appears to understand that, from a comedic standpoint, she has to crank it up to 11, but apparently the director couldn’t get anyone else on the same page. As a result, Confessions of a Shopaholic lets down both its actress and the audience.”
• Cinema Blend: “In one scene, Fisher gets to cut loose and dance, showing wild moves similar to what made her notable in Wedding Crashers. But the scene doesn’t fit at all with her character, and immediately after Rebecca is back to blank, cute neutral. It’s as if Fisher took the reins for one moment and gave actual characterization a shot, but director P.J. Hogan stopped her before it was too late.”
• Collider.com: “But even if you can’t get on board with the subtext, you should have no problem being enchanted by Isla Fisher’s performance. This is a star-making role as she establishes herself as a leading comedienne reminiscent of Lucielle Ball. I know them’s fighting words but it’s more than just being a funny redhead. Fisher has a gift for comic timing that’s more than just knowing where to put the emphasis on a certain word or respond with a line of dialogue. She has a physical comedy that’s more than just slapstick. She knows exactly how to move her body and control her reactions perfectly in order to get the most laughs.”
• Variety: “There is an urge toward slapstick and klutzy behavior that seems misapplied and ought to have been resisted, and while Fisher can pull it off with her dignity still partly intact, it would have been better to have allowed her to be more real than cartoonish.”
• LA Times: “We had an early clue that Fisher might be good at physical comedy when she played the insane guerrilla girlfriend of Vince Vaughn’s character in “Wedding Crashers.” In “Confessions,” Hogan has given her a much bigger stage, and Fisher proves she deserves it. Whether she’s merely teetering down the street on impossibly high heels or spinning through a complicated tango wielding a lethal fan, there is an internal balance that provides a sort of grace note to all of the extremes she puts her body through — that and the Rapunzel red tresses that bounce along behind her like a new puppy.”
• Urban Cinefile: “Fisher is appealing but never reaches the heights she did in The Wedding Crashers, and often overplays the part. Direction is partly to blame as most of the characters suffer from the same ailment.”
Fisher Fantastic to the max!! To start with, Isla plays the lead role so is in practically every scene. But the best thing about Shopaholic is that Isla is absolutely brilliant in this movie. She nails every joke with excellent timing and hilarious facial expressions, and infuses real heart into Becky, showing her flaws and making her seem like a real and relatable woman. She also has great chemistry with Hugh Dancy. Isla brings Becky Bloomwood to life perfectly, I think, and does Sophie Kinsella’s character justice. This is my favourite ‘feel good’/’pick me up’ film, and I can’t help but laugh at the same things each time I watch it. It also inspired me to read the books – I got through them all quickly, and laughed equally as much at them as I did the film – and I am now aching for a sequel to this movie. Isla at her best. See it, see it now!
What with Isla being the lead in this movie, she embarked on a full promotional tour for it! Isla took part in a press conference for the film in January 2009, before attending the big red carpet premieres in New York and then London. She appeared on numerous US TV talk shows, including The Early Show, Good Morning America, Rachael Ray, the Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. She also promoted the movie on German TV channel Viva. Isla landed major magazine covers for Allure, Flare, California Style, and In Style UK, as well as spreads in GQ, Total Film, and more. She also did press junkets for the film, giving many interviews to the press which were then broadcast on various mediums.
• Isla Fisher Web‘s Press page (related: 2009 interviews)
• Isla Fisher Web‘s 2009 Appearances Gallery
• Isla Fisher Web‘s 2009 Magazine Scans Gallery
• Isla Fisher Web‘s 2009 video interviews
• Isla Fisher Web‘s 2009 talk show video interviews
• News & Updates for Confessions Of A Shopaholic at Isla Fisher Web
• Amazon.co.uk – purchase the DVD
• Amazon.co.uk – purchase the Blu-ray
• Amazon.co.uk – purchase the book (movie tie-in cover)
• Amazon.com – purchase on Amazon Video
• Amazon.com – purchase the DVD
• Amazon.com – purchase the Blu-ray
• Amazon.com – purchase the book (movie tie-in cover)
• EzyDVD.com.au – purchase the DVD
• EzyDVD.com.au – purchase the Blu-ray