Also, the romantic comedy Confessions of a

Also, the male
protagonist is an essential accessory for the event that is the obsessive
compulsion of the rom-com, the wedding, a ceremony whose purpose is not the
ritual celebration of two people in love pledging their troth but the best
excuse in a girl’s life for some really serious spending. The rom-com also
insists that without regular fashion makeovers, a girl lives a life of quiet
desperation. From the vaunted Manolo Blahnik pumps from HBO’s Sex and the City
and its blockbuster 2009 theatrical version to the shop-happy sorority sisters
of Legally Blonde (2001), the plot of which actually hinges on the name of a brand
of shoes and, till the wardrobe of perennial brides maid Katherine Heigl in 27
Dresses (2008), whose closet is stuffed with gowns commemorating bad taste
theme weddings and then inevitably with The Devil Wears Prada (2006), a
fashionista coming-of-age story in which Anne Hathaway learns what to wear and
weigh, the label gets its name on the marquee. Another potent example how the
media has come to shape the notion of happiness is by putting the brand name
everywhere in order to make it easily accessible. On the Blu-ray DVD edition of
Bride Wars is a “pop up” menu that superimposes price tags onto the
screen identifying the brand and cost of the clothes the actresses wear in the
film (that’s $1500 for the DJ Humble windbreaker Kate Hudson models while jogging
in Central Park). When mentioned this feature to film scholar Maria San
Filippo, she sagely predicted the ultimate logic of the digital synergy in the
future, viewers will be able to click on the icon to purchase the highlighted
item. What the audience absorbs as comfort and convenience is actually the
triumph of the culture industry in disguise.

To highlight the
rampant consumerism, the paper closely scrutinizes the romantic comedy
Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009) and traces the occurrence of shiny brand
labels sprinkled liberally throughout the plot of the movie and how happiness
is associated with it. As the title of Confessions of a Shopaholic, confesses
or brags, shopping is akin to an addiction, but one from which the afflicted
seek no twelve-step program (which is why they call it “retail
therapy”). A big screen billboard for product placement, designer
branding, and conspicuous consumption, the rom-com is still about a romance –
the romance between a girl and her goods. With a perky pop tune on the
soundtrack, a montage of sales-tags-be-damned, spending by a brand-thirsty
female shopper let loose in an expensive clothing store. Entranced, she cruises
the aisles and ransacks the racks, flitting in and out of dressing rooms,
modelling for mirrors, twirling, preening, and primping in a jump-cut swirl of
posh outfits before bursting through revolving doors, glowing, laden with
shopping bags of luxury brands.

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The movie opens with
these very lines,

“But when I looked
into shop windows, I saw another world. A dreamy world

full of perfect things.
A world where grown-up girls got what they wanted. They were beautiful. Like
fairies or princesses. They didn’t even need any money, they had magic cards. I
wanted one…. And a store always smells good.

A store can awaken a
lust for things you never even knew you needed. And when your fingers grasp
those shiny, new bags…”


These lines are spoken
in the backdrop by the female protagonist as visuals of grand imposing stores
dominate the screen. With upbeat music to accompany the scenes, the characters
are depicted to be gleefully smiling as they fall into the trap of consumerism.
The protagonist is no different from the herd as she too is blinded by the
bling and eventually lands herself into a debt crisis, where she is forced to
look for supposedly an undesirable job and furthermore, to donate her wardrobe
to charity. The miserable life of this first world woman doesn’t end here, as
she is humiliated in front of her love interest as well. However, after many hardships,
the protagonist triumphs over herself in the final scene as she lets go of her
shopping addiction and is united with her beau. 
Also, if one looks at the appearance of the characters, all the females
are frail looking trendy divas and the males, though used as accessories, are
extremely masculine with perfected deep baritones. Looking over the rampant
consumerism of the rom-com, and sentenced to watch one too many fashion-plated
rom-com, New York Times film critic Manola Darghas finally lost it and
spluttered, “Do Hollywood studio executives think that women have a gene
for tulle? Neural receptors just for Vera Wang?”


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