"Confessions of a Shopaholic" appears to be a breezy romp through Manhattan's high-end store aisles as its first theatrical trailer premieres Friday, before showings of "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist."
Especially with accident-prone Becky Bloomwood, the insolvent heroine of Sophie Kinsella's best-selling chick-lit series, leading the "charge-it!" charge.
But when the comedy opens Feb. 13, with Isla Fisher ("Wedding Crashers") as the irrepressible spendthrift, it could also serve as a cautionary tale, given that the dreary economic climate isn't about to brighten soon.
"The consumerism in the movie kind of puts it out there," says producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who's taking a break from such manly fare as the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films for more pink-hued pursuits. "Credit companies gladly will send you a number of cards, you get into debt, and then they come after you."
At least shadowing Fisher as she hungrily plucks through the costly designer goods at Henri Bendel and Barneys will provide vicarious pleasure for the relative bargain price of a movie ticket. "Isla is amazing," Bruckheimer says. "She's our Lucille Ball. She's vivacious and funny and embodies her character."
Becky has been given a slight makeover for the film, directed by P.J. Hogan ("My Best Friend's Wedding"). Her nationality has gone from British to American. (Fisher guesses it's to distinguish her from another chick-lit fave, Bridget Jones.) But most of the plot basics are the same.
After losing her job, Becky applies to be a writer at a Condé Nast fashion glossy. Instead, she is hired for a financial magazine, a position that is way beyond her qualifications. In the big-screen version, her boss is also her love interest (Hugh Dancy of "The Jane Austen Book Club").
Aussie-raised Fisher, 32, was already a fan of the books before she was hired. "I literally jumped up and down when I heard about the movie. I would have been the first one in the cinema even if I weren't involved. I can't tell you the number of women who have told me, 'I am Becky Bloomwood.' She is humble, sweet, optimistic and gets really excited about things." Like a half-off price tag.
Not that Fisher, who is engaged to Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen and is mom to Olive, who turns 1 on Oct. 17, shares Becky's bad habits. "I shop rarely and rather poorly," she says. "Whenever I do purchase something, I instantly regret it. I don't enjoy the process."
What the actress did like was the challenge of ad-libbing Becky's deceptions: "I loved being able to lie at the drop of a hat."
Most Bruckheimer productions deliver the high-octane action goods. Even Flashdance had some fisticuffs. "Shopaholic's" closest encounter with such mayhem, however, is an intense clash of the bargain titans at a sample sale as Becky stakes her claim on a pair of marked-down Gucci boots.
"All we needed was a car chase down the center aisle," Fisher says, "and a cameo by Nicolas Cage."