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CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC

From Best-Selling Books To The Big Screen
Filmmakers Tap Novelist Sophie Kinsella's "Shopaholic” Series Sophie Kinsella's "Confessions of a Shopaholic” and her four subsequent novels ("Shopaholic Takes Manhattan,” "Shopaholic Ties the Knot,” "Shopaholic and Sister” and "Shopaholic and Baby”) are an international phenomenon, winning a passionate and devoted readership. Each book has made best-seller lists in the U.S. and the U.K.; at one point, Kinsella had three books on The Washington Post's top-ten list.

The series' success caught the eye of producer Jerry Bruckheimer. "Our company is always looking for fresh ideas,” says Bruckheimer. "Sophie helped us throughout the making of the movie to ensure that Rebecca Bloomwood's transition to the screen would be faithful to the heart and theme of the novels.”

Recalls executive producer Chad Oman, "When I first read the novel, I knew 10 or 15 pages in that it was a film we wanted to make. It immediately seemed like a very smart, witty, charming, emotional book.”

"If you look at the debt crisis going on in the U.S. right now, with everybody having 27 credit cards, everybody can relate to Rebecca Bloomwood,” adds executive producer Mike Stenson.

Kinsella introduced Rebecca Bloomwood eight years ago. Since then, more than 15 million readers in 35 countries—including the United States and Great Britain, throughout all of Western and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Turkey, Japan, China, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam—have grown to love the endearing, hapless, eternally optimistic shopaholic.

To direct "Confessions of a Shopaholic,” Jerry Bruckheimer selected Australian-born, U.S.-based P.J. Hogan as the man for the job. "P.J.'s work has the kind of deft, light touch that we wanted for the movie,” notes the producer. "Both ‘Muriel's Wedding' and ‘My Best Friend's Wedding' were two pictures that I loved watching. He has such a wonderful sense of humor, and a delightful romantic touch.”

"Rebecca Bloomwood was a character I totally identified with,” says Hogan. "A shopaholic is somebody who believes heavily in retail therapy. Feel bad? Go into a store, you're cheered up instantly. Everybody can understand that. When we're down, we've all used retail as a way to cheer ourselves up, but Rebecca just can't stop. She's never met a bargain that she can say no to.”

For the film version of "Confessions of a Shopaholic,” both the setting and Rebecca's nationality have emigrated westward across the pond to America. "In my head and in the books, of course, she will always be British,” says the author. "But I have met Becky Bloomwoods all over the world, of every nationality. What matters to me most is that in the film, we have her heart, her foibles and her comedy. The film uses elements from the first two ‘Shopaholic' books, the second of which is in fact set in New York. Many of my favorite scenes are in the film, and watching them being shot was a huge treat. Becky's story is really a parable for our times as she tries to cut back her spending, put away the credit cards and turn her life around.”

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