Step one of Shopaholics Anonymous: Don’t waste money on tickets to crappy movies

by Hannah PickettStaff Writer

What defines you?

Is it family, friends or your faith? Or is it something tangible, like skirts, shoes and handbags? If it’s tangible, I call it crazy. Disney calls it “Confessions of a Shopaholic.”

Addiction is something we often joke about. Most of the time, addiction is linked with drugs or alcohol. Imagine what your life would be like if you were addicted to shopping.

In the movie, Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) had this addiction. With 14 credit cards and over $16,000 in debt, Bloomwood was dodging debt collectors and it was time to turn her finances around.

Ironically enough, Bloomwood, a journalist, takes a job at a finance magazine-something she knows absolutely nothing about, as evidenced by her debt. As in most chick flicks, she rises to the occasion and actually makes finances interesting, relating finances to shopping under the alias of ‘the girl in the green scarf.’

The more successful the magazine gets with Bloomwood’s truthful, practical and clever articles, the more she justifies her spending habits. Her roommate convinces her to go to a support group for shopaholics. What she learns there is to ask herself, “Do I really need this?”

While watching the movie, I asked myself, “Do I really need to be suffering through this?”

It isn’t until the third or fourth meeting that her support group has its members cut up a credit card. Just one! If being a shopaholic is so much of a problem that you seek group therapy, wouldn’t you think to cut up all of your credit cards at the first meeting?

I found the theme of this movie to be slightly inappropriate in a time that our country is in such a financial economic crisis. The underlying theme of the movie was supposed to be about saving rather than spending and charging. Too bad that theme wasn’t evident until the end of the movie.

Rather than emphasizing the importance of paying off credit cards, the movie seemed to make light of her situation. For instance, the roommate pours shots of tequila while they open her credit card statements each month. Granted, a little part of me dies each month when I open mine, but the movie portrayed this, along with hiding from debt collectors, to be whimsical.

When people watch romantic comedies, they try to relate to the characters on the screen. If her outrageous spending habits are shown as cute and funny, what does that say to the kid watching that really wants a pair of $300 boots? Bloomwood’s father, played by John Goodman, says, “If our country can be billions of dollars in debt and survive, so can you.”

You’ve got to be kidding me. The movie sends the wrong message, even though it finally addresses the problem at the very end.

Moral of the story-save your money. If you are questioning whether you need to buy that new dress for a party, more than likely you don’t. Should you spend your money on this movie? Probably not.