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Did Confessions of a Shopaholic author Sophie Kinsella slip something into David Colman's spritzer when they lunched at Bergdorf's, or was he simply so blissed-out by a visit to his favorite place in the world that he decided to redefine the term "puff piece" when writing up the interview for the Times? The movie, which opens tomorrow and stars Isla Fisher and a parade of Patricia Field outfits, is not poorly timed at all, nor a glorification of shopping, we learn, but functions as "a comical allegory for the last 15 years."

Furthermore, lest you had the impression that the novels on which the movie is based are chick-lit of the vapidest order (these are books, after all, that even Entertainment Weekly calls "fluffier-than-air"), Colman places them in the tradition of Zola, Flaubert, and Tolstoy, and in his eyes, Kinsella has gone one better than her distinguished predecessors by being the first author to give "overshopping... the literary dignity to stand more or less on its own."

You almost expect him to suggest that Confessions of a Shopaholic will be enjoyed by heterosexual male audiences, too. But he must have realized that our credulity can only be stretched so far.

Calming the Voices That Scream 'Shop!' [NYT]