SEX AND THE CITY (2008)
The HBO series’ fashion fetishism translated so well to the big screen that the film earned $153 million at the box office — almost enough to buy every pair of Manolo Blahniks in Carrie’s closet.
Smiling may be Buddy’s ”favorite,” but for someone who was raised as an Elf at the North Pole and who eventually masquerades as an employee as a huge New York City department store, he sure seems to love the capitalistic spirit of the holidays. Almost as much as snowball fights and spaghetti covered in syrup! —Lanford Beard
LAST HOLIDAY (2006)
If you found out you only had a few weeks to live, what would you do? If you’re Georgia Byrd (Queen Latifah), you spend money like there’s no tomorrow. After the wannabe chef discovers she has multiple brain tumors, she splashes out for a dream vacation in the Czech Republic, a designer wardrobe, and gourmet meals cooked by Gérard Depardieu. Well, we certainly wouldn’t want to live to foot that bill.
PRETTY WOMAN (1990)
It’s the movie that contains everyone’s favorite Beverly Hills shopping spree montage. Julia Roberts gets to try on great clothes, there’s plenty of obsequious sucking up by boutique manager Larry Miller, and it’s all on someone else’s credit card.
JINGLE ALL THE WAY (1996)
Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to buy his kid the coveted Turbo-Man action figure for Christmas; unfortunately, so does every other dad in town. Foolish fathers — you don’t cross Arnold, not even at the toy store.
Lots of little kids, given the cash and the opportunity, would fill their bedrooms with accessories like a soda machine and a trampoline. Lots of grown-ups, too.
BLANK CHECK (1994)
Money-laundering crook runs over little boy’s bike, gives him a blank check to buy his silence. The boy (Brian Bonsall of Family Ties) cashes the check for $1 million, goes on a shopping spree (mansion full of toys and a backyard with a go-kart track and a pool with a waterslide). Boy takes pretty bank teller (Karen Duffy) out on a date… Stop us when your suspension of disbelief reaches the breaking point.
While the scheming Jersey college kids in Mallrats were technically doing more loitering than shopping, Kevin Smith’s cult film wouldn’t be the same without its location. The film offers a snapshot of a ’90s gathering place that’s gotten a little lost in an era of online social networking. —Lanford Beard
Sometimes, guys bond over shopping, whether they’re purchasing alcohol (with the world’s worst fake ID) or buying jeans (and checking out each others backsides to see whether the pants fit well). Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
BRIDE WARS (2009)
Wars are expensive. When two former friends (Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway) face off after accidentally booking their weddings at the Plaza on the very same day, the spending is fast and furious as each tries to outdo the other. Hudson’s biggest splurge? This drop-waisted gown from Vera Wang. And frankly, the wedding dress was just about the only classy thing in the stomach-churning film. — Kate Ward
If you’re one of Tony Montana’s little friends, you likely pick up some great gifts from the kingpin. When the former refugee (Al Pacino) becomes a big-time drug dealer, he spends more than a pretty penny on a Porsche 928 for a romantic interest (Michelle Pfeiffer). Of course, he saves plenty for himself too: After taking over the empire, Tony buys a massive mansion — and, of course, lots and lots of cocaine. — Kate Ward
MARIE ANTOINETTE (2006)
Kirsten Dunst reminds us that the spendthrift, cake-loving queen was once a spirited teenage princess. Given the rigid, corseted, sexually frustrating, stultifying nature of her life at Versailles, if she occasionally wanted to blow off some steam via clothes- and shoe-shopping binges, who could begrudge her? Well, besides the starving French peasantry, of course.
JOE VERSUS THE VOLCANO (1990)
Nothing sets off a shopping spree like being diagnosed with a terminal illness. (Just ask Queen Latifah!) Tom Hanks — who’s been told he has only six months to live — agrees to plunge into a raging volcano on the island of Waponi Woo. But first he snaps up snazzy Armani suits and a custom set of steamer trunks in an all-expenses-paid buying spree around New York. Oh, and he romances Meg Ryan, too. —Kate Stroup
Cher (Alicia Silverstone) and Dionne (Stacey Dash) are both Beverly Hills princesses named after singers who became infomercial pitchwomen. So they were born to shop. A trip to the mall becomes more than an excuse for Cher to add to her color-coordinated wardrobe (and to the computer database that helps her pick her outfits); it’s like therapy, or going home.
HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE (2009)
It’s a fierce fashionista showdown when Miley Cyrus’ rock-star alter ego tussles with Tyra Banks over a pair of shoes. Hey, sometimes shopping is a full-contact sport. And sometimes it’s enough to get a pompous pop star shipped home to Tennessee. —Kate Stroup
THE TOY (1982)
Apparently unaware that slavery has been outlawed for well over a century, tycoon Jackie Gleason somehow manages to buy Richard Pryor as a playmate for his little boy.
BREWSTER'S MILLIONS (1985)
This time, Richard Pryor’s the one making outlandish purchases (including buying a major league baseball team and a spot for himself in the batting order). He inherits a $30 million windfall, which he must spend to the last penny in 30 days in order to inherit an even bigger windfall. It’s kinda like a Wall Street bailout plan.
MAX DUGAN RETURNS (1983)
Can money buy back the love of a daughter (Marsha Mason) for the dad (Jason Robards) who deserted her? Can he win over his grandson (Matthew Broderick, in his film debut) by showering the family with expensive gifts (diamond jewelry, video equipment, a Mercedes) bought with swindled loot? Um, yeah, pretty much.
CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC (2009)
Forget shopping ’til you drop. Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) would shop until her fellow shoppers drop dead. The shopping addict is so obsessed with material items that she gets into a fight with another woman over a pair of Pucci shoes during a spree. Don’t worry — Rebecca’s pocketbook was the only thing hurt during filming.
THE JERK (1979)
When naïf Steve Martin becomes an eyewear mogul, he doesn’t buy anything too fancy — just a mansion the size of Rhode Island, furnishings even more garish than those at Elvis’ house, and a water cooler that dispenses wine. (Much funnier on screen than it sounds here.) Oh, and a thermos.
WALL STREET (1987)
Rising stock trader Charlie Sheen goes to work for Michael Douglas’ corporate raider (pictured) and learns that, once you start making serious money, hideous art becomes an investment-grade status symbol worth mounting in your apartment. He learns the same about art dealer Daryl Hannah.
THE UGLY TRUTH (2009)
In order to help Katherine Heigl’s tightly wound Abby land a man, Gerard Butler’s misogynistic Mike decides to take her shopping and sex-up her look. Clearly it was worth the investment — Abby attracts the attention of her neighbor thanks to new hair extensions, low-cut cocktail attire and eye-popping lingerie. Now, if only the film was worth our $12 investment. — Kate Ward