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Rebecca Bloomwood's Golden Parachute

Confessionsofashopaholic

Authored by super special guest contributor and honorary MamaPop Betch, Julie of Mothergoosemouse

Of all the ridiculous mass-market paperback fluff that was never fit to print, Confessions of a Shopaholic is at the top of my hate parade.

I slogged through the book, vainly hoping for a hint of character development or some decent dialogue.  Shopaholic doesn't even have a coherent plot line, let alone a believable one.  Utter tripe, from start to finish.

And yet, I know perfectly intelligent women who adored Shopaholic.  So I gave my copy to one of them.

Author Sophie Kinsella penned multiple sequels, creating an entire Shopaholic series, so I realize I must be in the minority of women who think Kinsella and her "heroine", Rebecca Bloomwood, ought to have gotten a rejection letter instead of a book-turned-movie deal.

Beyond the utter unreadability of Shopaholic, I was fairly well disgusted by the lack of a moral conclusion in the story.  All of Bloomwood's lying and overspending and self-delusion was swept under the rug and out of sight when she got her man.  A few shreds of remorse, yes - but any real lessons learned?  Forget it.

Now there's a movie showcasing Bloomwood's irresponsibility, and it couldn't possibly be more ill-timed.  Spending money you don't have and lying your ass off every step of the way isn't funny - it's a serious problem - and a winning lottery ticket or a rich hottie isn't the solution.

Our country's economy is teetering on the brink, and people are spending $10 a pop to go watch a fictitious example of one of the ways we got here.

Really, the primary difference between Bloomwood's overextension and that of millions of homeowners lies in terms of scale.  Bloomwood leveraged her dwindling credit and fibbed about her means of paying for her purchases.  Meanwhile, people with sub-prime credit scores overstated their income - and lenders encouraged them to do so.

Oh, and the other key difference?  Bloomwood worms her way out of the mess she's created for herself by means of Kinsella's deus ex machina - that is, a man.

How many horribly irresponsible and unfeminist ideas can be crammed into a single book?  Even in Cinderella, the heroine is a kind and generous person.  The same can't be said for Bloomwood, who's not just a twit, but a shallow, lying bitch.

(Really.  Read the book.  She is a nasty, judgmental puddle of Prada.)

I don't begrudge Kinsella her success.  I just wonder about her taste and the tastes of her legions of fans.

I don't turn up my nose at light reading.  Douglas Coupland makes for some great light reading, as do the Ephron sisters.  They make some good movies too.

What I hate is bad fiction.  And what I hate even more is bad fiction turned into film that glamourizes the very real mistakes that have been made by so many people all over the country.  There's no winning lottery ticket or rich hottie coming to save them.

. . . . .
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Comments

cindy w

OMG, thank you. I only read the first book because a friend gave it to me. I thought it was ridiculous crap & gave it to a used book store immediately. I cannot believe someone thought it was a good idea to turn it into a movie.

Liz

Here, here!! Light, entertaining, mass-market fiction has its place and serves its purpose, but Shopaholic is irredeemable.

Hilary

I haven't read it (didn't realize there was a SERIES blehhh) but I 100% believe you. I wanted to add that I love that "Bullcrap" is a category.

baltimoregal

Read the Washingtonienne. At least with Shopaholic you won't need a shower afterwards.

Julie

BaltimoreGal, I did read Washingtonienne. Bleah. At least with that one, I had the foresight to check it out from the library instead of shelling out cash.

palinode

The movie's timing mystifies me. It already seems like a dug-up artifact from a dead era.

Accidental Housewife

I kind of love that "Must-Have" is in quotations on the cover... like, even the publishers don't really believe it!

Anothersuburbanmom

Thank goodness you wrote thisI hated those books and thought I was alone. If you want some good light reading may I recommend Jennifer Crusie or Lorna Landvik?

Jen

Hmmm.....I could apply many of the same thoughts to Twilight.

Bad fiction, stupid women, why the hell was it made into a movie.....

Julie

Jen, I can't even bring myself to read the back cover of Twilight.

EmmaK

I am ashamed to say that I really enjoyed the book ... I suppose I could see myself very much in the fun loving, overspending character. I would even go see the movie only its been universally panned. It is funny that such a movie should come out in the midst of a recession but of course these things are planned months in advance.

Laurie

I am a avid reader of fluff and I hated this, I hated The Devil Wears Prada and I hated The Nanny Diaries. I guess I'll stick with murder mysteries.

michele

I wouldn't even touch it after I couldn't even stomach 2 chapters of "devil wears prada." i liken them. i agree with you on the disgusting premise. i cannot support that irresponsible behavior.

amalah

I couldn't stand this book. And yet someone lent me the sequel and I read it for some ridiculous reason. Perhaps I was drunk. And...gah. My god. Over and over, the character overspends and shops and buys and lies. No lessons, no one ever pointing out that compulsive spending is like, a REALLY SERIOUS PROBLEM, both financially and mentally, but it's all ha ha hee hee, silly Becky, what have you gotten yourself into NOW?

*sits around grumbling something about everything that is wrong with the world today young whippersnappers grrr*

Tree

Bestselling does not equal quality. It is always fascinating to read the NYTimes Book Review and see what the editors recommend versus what is on the mass fiction list. Who can account for personal taste? I'm with you on this!

mothergoosemouse

EmmaK, props to you for having the courage to dissent. I still think you're crazy ;) but I'm certain you're nowhere near as shallow and mean as Bloomwood.

Laurie, The Nanny Diaries - gah. Horrible dialogue. Although I did enjoy the references to Gracious Home - my husband once bought a tiny box of dryer sheets there for like $4 and I nearly smacked him silly.

Amalah, I think it's like trainwreck watching. We just can't look away!

Tracy H

I read for fun! As an escape! I really enjoyed the Shopaholic series, I read 'em all! What can I say, I like fluff. Bad timing for the movie, I agree, but it looks like it's gonna suck anyway. I have no interest in seeing it.

jodifur

I loved these books, but I love chic lit. And the movie was great. They showed it on the disney cruise. I told my dad, see you payed for the cruise so I could see a $10 movie for free!




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