Obviously during education I had to read a certain percentage of novels especially to get through my English Literature exams, but for some reason they never did ‘float my boat’ so to speak.
Give me a magazine, research material or philosophical texts and I?m quite happy to read up on my gossip and debate things like the existence of god. This has always been the way until recently when I was introduced to a range of novels written by Sophie Kinsella.
Confessions of a Shopaholic had me hooked within the first few pages, a sneak peek into the life of Rebecca Bloomwood – Financial Journalist. I stood by her as she went through the twists and turns of life, through her tears and joys, love and heartbreak.
A character whom I think we can all identify with to some degree, for myself, alongside loving shopping, it was the belief that if I hide bad things away for long enough they might just disappear. My addiction had begun. Each book that followed carried on the story.
Needless to say when it was announced that they were making the story into a film, I was looking forward to it. Being able to re-live the novel, but this time on the big screen where the characters are brought to life. The trailers teased and made the anticipation that little more exciting.
As Rebecca Bloomwood would write; ?Contemplating the film on the big screen was like finding the perfect dress you’ve longed for, in the sale at Barney’s; it’s the right size and has no faults. The feeling of exhilaration flows through your veins, everything seems better. Until you realise when you wear it to the most amazing ball that the perfect dress has a nick in it at the hem, at first not that noticeable, but through the night, the hem slowly unravels and the dress falls apart at the seams. You’re so disappointed, you feel let down as if you’ve been cheated.’
One of the main nick?s in the hem of my perfect dress was evident within the first 5 minutes. As I watched in disbelief, I couldn’t help thinking to myself; “This didn’t happen in the novel”, “I don’t understand” and “I don?t remember it happening like that in the novel”, so much so that I found it very difficult to absorb myself in the film. There were so many inconsistencies; so many so that I asked if we?d walked into the wrong theatre therefore missing part of the story. Why was it all set in New York? Why was Becky working for Successful Saving? Why did she go to work for Luke? Why was Alicia ?Bitch? Longlegs working for Elite fashion magazine? Why were Tarquin and Suze engaged within the first 5 minutes? Where was the on air argument between Becky and Luke? Why did Becky not work on Morning Coffee in a regular slot? And so many more…
The unraveling of my hem happened before my eyes as we were introduced to the main characters of the story. The character of Rebecca Bloomwood was unbelievable, although Becky is slightly naive in her dealings and imaginings within the novel and obviously does have a shopping addiction; the movie portrayed her as a plastic, simple minded and superficial. Suze was impersonal, unlike how she is described within the novel; she lacked her caring and motherly side and instead came across as quite aggressive and selfish. What happened to the girl who would do anything for her friend, who stuck by Becky no matter how many mistakes she made? Tarquin was quite confusing, he held a very small role so it was impossible to judge the character too much, yet I was left asking the question; what happened to the scrawny, un-stylish and awkward character described in the novel that Rebecca found so repulsive? Luke Brandon was possibly the most believable character within the movie, although I found it difficult to relate Luke?s mysterious, almost distant and driven characteristics portrayed by Kinsella to the actor playing the role. Whatever did happen to him running Brandon communications from the beginning?
I understand that changes have to be made on screen to fill the film reel and that sometimes it may be necessary for the range of novels to be merged slightly. Yet why the producers and script writers omitted important events and almost re-wrote an already fantastic storyline is beyond me.
I can?t help but feel rather deflated; the lovable and hilarious ?Confessions of a Shopaholic? was obviously lost in translation.
The first guest post by Jennifer as she had read all of the Sophie Kinsella books to know the difference between the two mediums.