Column: ‘Shopaholic’ series turns to big screen

By Colleen Loggins

Recently my friend told me that the “Shopaholic” book series by British sensation Sophie Kinsella is going to be turned into a movie. In a Q & A session with readers on the official “Shopaholic” Web site, Kinsella confirmed that the first “Shopaholic” film is currently in development with Disney.

Kinsella said she would love to have a young, unknown actress play the vibrant, fun-loving protagonist, Becky Bloomwood. Yet, rumor has it that Isla Fisher of “Wedding Crashers” fame was cast in the role.

For those of you who have not read the series, Isla Fisher would seem to be a good fit. Unfortunately … um … Becky is a brunette (in my head,) not a redhead. Becky is just more, together or something. Maybe she’s not as crazy as Isla? Basically, I can’t articulate why Isla Fisher should not play Becky, but she just shouldn’t.

To me, Becky isn’t a person who could be played by a known actress. According to Kinsella, she deliberately left out any descriptions of Becky because she wanted every reader to be able to identify with her.

“I want my readers to feel they are inside Becky’s head, seeing the world through her eyes, not looking at her from the outside,” Kinsella said during the Q & A session.

She also added that she does have an idea of what Becky looks like, but she doesn’t want to tell anyone because she doesn’t want to ruin the image her readers might have in their heads.

Hence, Kinsella’s desire for an unknown actress to play Becky. But could an unknown do any justice to the multi-layered, lovable character? Should great books even be turned into movies?

Surprisingly, a lot of them are. I remember seeing a poster for the first “Harry Potter” movie, and I just knew it would never be able to do justice to the book. I have been afraid to see the “Golden Compass” movie for the same reason. Now I have to worry about the “Shopaholic” movie.

On the other hand, I’m looking forward to watching the movie “Jumper,” which is based on the book by Steven Gould. So why do I want to see this movie and not the others? Well, although “Jumper” was a great book, it was not one of my favorites. The other books are.

I am emotionally invested in the characters, and Becky Bloomwood, Suze and Tarquin, the characters in “Shopaholic,” are all so lovable. Luke Brandon, her husband, is someone I have a crush on, and I have not met a fellow “Shopaholic” reader who does not feel the same way. Yes, I do realize he is not a real person, but Kinsella does such a great job bringing her characters to life that you feel as if they actually exist and thus become emotionally invested. It is almost as if they become your friends.

Obviously when you like something that much, you tend to want other people to feel the same way. However, when they are getting only the watered-down versions of the characters that you’ve come to love, they just don’t ever see it the way you do.

Unfortunately, this is the reality that we live in. Great books will always be turned into movies if they are popular enough because the movie world wants to cash in on the success.

Authors usually want to be even more successful, so they agree to turn their works into films. There is nothing I can do about this, but I do hope that more people will read the books that are turned into movies so they don’t miss out on what could be a very rewarding experience.

Colleen is a junior in Communications who annoys people by telling them exactly what the movie left out that was “oh so important” to the story, but she will keep doing it because it amuses her.