Sunday, July 18, 2010

Confessions of a Shopaholic: Why, Why, Why?

I like to read light, frothy books between heavy, serious books, and so a couple of weeks ago, I treated myself to Sophie Kinsella's Confessions of a Shopaholic as a reward for completing part 2 of Anna Karenina.

It was fun. Rebecca Bloomwood is definitely cut from the same chick-lit cloth as Bridget Jones, from her quirky, sweet hapless self-deception to her attractive doing-the-right thing when the chips are down. And I felt the shades of Pemberley and P&P in that she is initially adamantly prejudiced towards hero Luke Brandon, who turns out to be a wonderfully sexy knight-in-Savile Row, just like Mark Darcy. The icing on the cake is that the story takes place in London, and I enjoyed hearing about Rebecca shopping at Harrods, etc.

Then I rented the movie. My daughter warned me that Rebecca was an American in Manhattan, and I swallowed hard but decided that I would give up London in order to see the film version of this cute, funny story. But the script writers did not tell Kinsella's story, and they completely alienated me when they resorted to coincidence--in their version, Luke gives Rebecca the money she needs for the scarf when he meets her for the first time at a hot dog stand, and then it turns out that he is the hiring manager in the job she has to get. In the book, they had known each other for some time and she was already completely hardened towards him when he loaned her the money. He was her nemesis throughout, only redeeming himself near the end, but with plenty of hints that he found Rebecca mighty appealing...just as she was. I didn't even watch the whole thing, but abandoned it when Rebecca is fighting a bunch of other stereotypes over bargain Gucci boots. Puhlease!

It escapes me why Hollywood pays good money for the screenrights to a successful novel and then pays more money to rewrite the story into the same ho-hum storyline that has been done a thousand times. Are they just buying the rights to the title? Seems like it. All right, all right. I'm not saying that the P&P storyline hasn't been done a thousand plus times, but it works! Why mess with a proven formula for a trite, silly one? Even fluff needs to hold up under the lights.

Yesterday, I finished part 3 of Anna Karenina. I hope to be able to post soon on it as well as this week's froth, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict...which I am loving!


  1. The movie was a tragedy! It irked to me no end. I really enjoyed the book (Kinsella is one of my fav authors). Glad to know I wasn't alone in my disappointment! Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict really is great, isn't it? :-)

    --Oregon Kimm

  2. I love Kinsella's books! But, oh, that movie. It was dreadful. I don't understand why they do that either. Especially since one of the later books involves her moving to Manhattan. Tell that story then. And why change things to make them less interesting?
    I look forward to hearing more about Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict!

  3. I saw the movie but hadn't read the book before hand. I was so disappointed by the movie, I don't think it needs to be a high quality to be enjoyable but this just made me cringe too many times!!

  4. The book made me laugh so much, but the humor was lost in the movie! I was so disappointed.

  5. A new award for one of my favourite blogger buddies!

  6. I think what happens is that the person who liked/bought the book rights is long gone or has lost power by the time the screenplay is being written; thus, idiots think they'll retain all those who liked the book but changes it to pull in new readers (perceived to insist on American settings, cliched characters, etc.). Of course, this often ends up destroying the book (the recent Susan Cooper movie was another, not that I went anywhere near it).

    Not long ago I listened to The Undomestic Goddess while driving and found it hilarious. My favorite of Kinsella/Wickham's so far.

  7. I loved this book! (I was introduced to the series by a shopaholic friend) and although, I am far from sharing the protagonist's vices for spending beyond one's means, I found it a delightfully humorous vacation into an alternate universe.
    I was warned about the movie, so I haven't had the courage to try to watch it. What bothered me most, from just looking at the DVD cover was why did they pick an actress with red hair? It may not seem to matter at first, but having read the whole series, a red-haired woman becomes the heroine's nemesis in the last novel, so it is totally inappropriate to give the main character that hair colour! Sheesh!!