Confessions of a Shopaholic

image for Confessions of a Shopaholic

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Not recommended under 12, PG to 15 due to themes

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Confessions of a Shopaholic
  • a review of Confessions of a Shopaholic completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 12 March 2009.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Confessions of a Shopaholic
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild coarse language
Length: 104 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) writes for a gardening magazine, but dreams of working for a high profile fashion magazine. Her great passion in life, which has become an addiction, is shopping. As a result Rebecca has over a dozen maxed-out credit cards to the tune of $16,000 dollars and is being relentlessly pursued by a debt collector named Derek Smeath (Robert Stanton), whom she manages to avoid by telling outlandish lies.  Rebecca shares an apartment with her best friend Suze (Krysten Ritter), who convinces Rebecca to attend Shopaholics Anonymous meetings.
In the process of trying to gain an editorial position at the famed fashion magazine Alette, Rebecca ends up at Successful Saving magazine writing a financial advice column which becomes an overnight success. Even Rebecca’s parents (John Goodman & Joan Cusack) read her column and follow her advice.
To thicken the plot, Rebecca becomes romantically attracted to her boss Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy) and romance between the two begins to blossom. However, all that Rebecca has told Luke is a lie and her lies are fast catching up with her.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Addiction; debt; deceit

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

Confessions of a Shopaholic contains some occasional low-level slap-stick type violence and accidental harm. Examples include:

  • Dozens of woman line up for a sale and when the doors open they stampede, trying to run over the top of each other in an attempt to get to the sale items first.
  • a tug of war between Rebecca and another woman over a pair of boots at a sale with Rebecca pushing the other woman to the ground.
  • In an attempt to deceive Luke, Rebecca says that Derek Smeath (debt collector) is an ex-boyfriend, who is now stalking her. When Smeath tries to gain entry to Rebecca’s workplace in an attempt to confront her, he is restrained by two security guards and forcibly removed (dragged away).
  • Rebecca slaps a man’s face at a party.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • In several scenes, faceless storefront mannequins come to life in a mime-like manner tempting Rebecca to buy the products they are wearing. 

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Nothing of concern

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Nothing of concern

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Apple brand laptop computers.
  • Designer label clothes and fashion accessories including Prada, YSL, Gucci, Burberry and Catherine Malandrino.     

Sexual references

The film contains some low-level sexual references and double innuendoes. Examples include:

  • Rebecca makes a reference to a woman having the longest legs in the world. We see a picture of a woman wearing a short skirt that reveals her long legs in a sensual manner.
  • There is a giant statue of a naked man outside an office window. Rebecca makes a comment about the workers in the offices on the floor below her looking at the statue all day long. She then makes a remark about not being a pervert. 
  • A reference is made to “financial probing” with the reference having a sexual innuendo. In one scene, a woman who is trying to gain the attentions of Luke stumbles on purpose falling against Luke.  
  • In one scene, Rebecca slaps a man’s face, pretending that he made an inappropriate sexual reference to her.
  • A reference is made to a woman being a “total hottie”.
  • While serving food to a group of people, reference is made to fish being a powerful aphrodisiac and Rebecca is told to give a woman two serves of the fish.
  • A man introduces a woman as his friend and then states that she is a prostitute. 

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some low-level sensuality in this movie, including:

  • Several scenes contain images of women wearing low cut tops that expose cleavage and tight fitting short skirts.
  • One scene contains an image of a woman and man lying together in bed clothed in sleepwear.
  • Rebecca and Luke kiss each other on the lips in a passionate manner.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Rebecca and Suze play a drinking game while sorting through Rebecca’s bills. They drink from a bottle, as well as repeated shot glasses of tequila, steadily becoming more intoxicated as the night progresses. By the end of the night both young woman are heavily intoxicated slurring their words and staggering badly. 
  • Rebecca drinks a cocktail at a party
  • People drink champagne at a party.
  • At the same party an older woman walking with the aid of a walking stick and acting in an intoxicated manner falls against another woman while holding a glass of champagne

Coarse language

The film contains some mildl coarse language and putdowns. Examples include:

  • stick her job up her arse
  • O god
  • as an investment you pretty much suck
  • raging moron
  • Mr. Freak
  • a woman is referred to as a bitch with long legs

In a nutshell

Confession of a Shopaholic is a romantic comedy that targets older teenage girls and women.
The main messages from this movie are:

  • Sooner or later deception and running up debt will catch up with you.
  • Obtaining happiness through the use of a credit cards or buying good is only a quick fix.
  • Material things do not define who we are.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as

  • How consumer advertising can manipulate a person into believing that they need a product that in reality they could easily do without.
  • The drinking “game” played by Rebecca and Suze
  • Although the film made Rebecca’s debt problem appear easy to solve but parents may wish to discuss the real-life consequences of incurring debt, and how truly difficult it is to relinquish.