"Your mother and I think that if the American economy can be billions in debt and still survive, so can you!" That's Rebecca Bloomwood's father talking to her daughter and for me, thats the defining statement for the movie. And this could well be the movie that Barack Obama wanted as a showcase to support his stimulus program and guide US out of debt trap, accumulated over the years. ;-)
Rebecca had a deprived childhood, where her shoes lasted longer than others' as they were bought with her 'mother's prices' instead of 'real prices' which bought shoes that lasted few months. And little surprise, she grew up admiring that little magic card, where you can take home, all-that-you-want from the stores without making any payment. While she became a moving mannequin or display rack of high street fashion, working at a gardening magazine, she kept dreaming about working at Alette, the leading fashion magazine. On the way to her interview, she finds a green scarf, which she desperately wants, but can't pay through all her cards and change, falling 20 bucks short of the magic figure. So, she goes to the hot dog guy on the street to encash a cheque, and ends up getting the money from a stranger (Hugh Dancy).
At the magazine office, she learns that the vacancy at Alette is no more there, as Ms. Long Legs, has been hired. On a tip from the receptionist, she applies for a job in Successful Savings, a financial magazine from the same group. And, as expected, the stranger at hot dog counter, turns out to be quite predictably Luke Brandon, the interviewer here. Terribly ill equipped for the job, she fumbles through the interview. Later, on a drinking session with her roomie, Suze (Krysten Ritter in a good supporting role), she sends out letters to Finance magazine, as well as Alette editors. Her letter gets noticed by Luke and she gets an assignment on credit cards. Still harbouring ambitions to shift to the fashion magazine, she starts writing with an assumed name, The Girl with the green scarf, which becomes hugely popular and so much at that, she becomes a celebrity of sorts in the office, getting noticed by all, including advertisers, marketers and Company promoters.
In a series of funny incidents, where she goes from one sale temptation to another, and deeper into debt. She is being chased by a collection agent, Derek Smeath, who she tries to desperately avoid and also, hide from her new employer. She even tells Luke, that Mr. smeath is actually, his ex-boyfriend stalking her. Suzy enrols her in a program for shopaholics, but Becks is incorrigible.
As in the modern fairytale, Luke turns out to be heir to a big fortune and son of famous socialite, Eleanor Sherman. He falls for the simplicity of Becks, but Ms. Long Legs tries to put a spanner by exposing her lies at a chat show. But, fairytales are supposed to have happy endings, right? So, all being forgiven...Luke and Becks get together after she redeems herself by doing an auction of all her stuff and paying her debts.
The film's message is simple, and tugs at the right emotional chords from time to time with gems of dialogues like "you and your mother define me" when Becks tells her father, that the RV so much defines him, when he offers to sell the RV to help her daughter.
Isla Fisher is good in her role and Hugh Dancy is just right. Of course, its not a film, which stays with you for long. But, while at the theater, you have a good time. There are some funny moments, and also there are times when you feel sympathy for poor little Becks, saddled in debt. After all, as recent studies show, shopping tugs the same chords in our brains, as addiction does, you can't help feeling a little high after indulging yourself in some unadulterated dose of shopping. Never mind the bills later. Girls, go for the movie, enjoy yourself and ignore the gyan!
P.S. In "my Hindi remake", Kareena gets the role for Becks and maybe, I would consider Chhote Nawab, Saif Khan for Luke's role. Not bad, huh? ;-) Any ideas for the title???