|Rebecca 'Becky' Bloomwood Brandon|
|First appearance||The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic|
|Last appearance||Mini Shopaholic|
|Created by||Sophie Kinsella|
|Portrayed by||Isla Fisher|
|Occupation||Former Financial Journalist
Television Personality on "Morning Coffee"
Personal Shopper at Barneys
Current personal shopper at "The Look"
|Spouse(s)||Luke James Brandon (2002-present)|
|Children||Minnie Brandon (b. December 2003)|
|Relatives||Jane and Graham Bloomwood (parents), Jessica "Jess" Bertram Webster (paternal half-sister), James Brandon (father-in-law), Elinor Sherman (mother-in-law), Annabel Brandon (step-mother-in-law), Zoe (half-sister-in-law), Sylvia (aunt), Ernest "Ernie" Cleath-Stuart (god-son),Ermintrude Bloomwood (fictional aunt), Tom Webster (half-brother-in-law)|
Becky grew up in Oxshott, Surrey with her Mum and Dad. After attending Bristol University, she moved to London. She first lived with her best friend Susan "Suze" Cleath-Stuart before she finally moved out with Luke Brandon. Before moving to New York, she worked on a magazine called Successful Savings.
Becky met her future husband, Luke Brandon, CEO of Brandon Communications (a Public Relations firm) during a press conference while she was working as a financial journalist. She helped him pick out luggage for his girlfriend, Sacha. Becky did not know that Luke had a girlfriend and thought that Luke liked her. She had an angry, tearful confrontation with him where she said that she "wasn't a joke." She attracted his attention after she published an article about one of his clients. They appear on television together and they began dating at the end of the first book. Luke and Becky marry in England at Becky's parents' house on June 24, 2002. Becky and Luke have a daughter named Minnie Brandon who was born on December 23, 2003.
The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic
Becky first makes her appearance in the book, The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic (Confessions of a Shopaholic in the US). In the first book, Becky is a financial journalist. Though she has a load of debts on her bank overdraft and credit card, nothing stops her from buying new clothes, shoes and other things which others may think as unnecessary. As a result, her flat mate and best friend, Susan Cleath-Stuart (commonly referred to as Suze) has to keep an eye on her spending. On the other hand, Suze knows that Becky does not have enough money to pay the flat rent and even tears up a cheque written by Becky.
At the end of the first book, Becky is offered a regular spot on a hit morning TV show as a financial advice guru after writing a successful article for a British tabloid. She also begins dating PR mogul Luke Brandon of Brandon Communications.
The setup of the template is explained in this story...how Becky Bloomwood, a clever and creative girl with an addiction to shopping, gets herself in over her head, but when she makes her comeback, she's often able to help family and friends in the process. When push comes to shove, her loved ones are her treasures, which is why Becky Bloomwood is so beloved.
In Shopaholic Abroad (also known as Shopaholic Takes Manhattan in the US) Becky goes to New York City with her then-boyfriend Luke, leaving Alicia Bitch Longlegs in charge of Brandon Communications in London, to Becky's dismay. She shows up in Manhattan to loads of wonderful TV offers...but before she left for the States, she'd visited Brandon Communications and had a sneaking suspicion she left something behind. Overwhelmed by Barney's, Fifth Avenue, and the discovery of sample sales, she goes overboard, even for her. Meanwhile, Luke is dismayed to find out that some of his investors are a little shaky and he's spending all of his time reassuring them. But when they find out that Alicia has not only tried to take over the company, but stolen Becky's bills and sent them to the Daily World, outing her as a Shopaholic to the fans of Morning Coffee, to whom she gives financial advice. She loses her gig on the TV show and all American TV prospects, and Luke's investors back away entirely. After a huge row in Manhattan, during which Becky refers to his beloved birth mother Elinor as a "cow of a mother", it seems they've lost each other. However, Becky has one trick up her sleeve...and manages not only to save her reputation, and Luke's, but secure a job in New York...even as Luke begs her to take a job with Brandon Communications London.
Shopaholic Ties the Knot
In Shopaholic Ties The Knot Becky agrees to let her neighbor Danny Kovitz, a fashion designer who currently lives (read: sponges off) with his brother and who has blown every opportunity that's come his way so far, design her bridesmaid dress for Suze's wedding to Tarquin. Worrying that Luke will take this as pressure to marry, she blithely tells him that she's not prepared to get married for ten years. Danny, after stalling and asking such questions as, "Do you need the dress TODAY today?" whips together a gorgeous dress and secures a promise from Becky that should she marry, he'll design the dress. Luke isn't fooled for a moment by her "ten-years" plan and puts an engagement ring inside the bouquet that she catches at Suze's wedding; she is only too happy to accept. Meanwhile, Luke is still determined to win the love of his birth mother, Elinor, and is over the moon about her offer to throw them a wedding at the plaza...despite the fact that Becky's mother had thrown herself and all her friends into wedding preparations immediately after their engagement. Becky spends a good portion of the book trying to tell one or the other that her wedding will be in NYC at the Plaza or in Oxshott at her parent's home, much to Suze's dismay, Becky can't quite seem to make up her mind: do it at the Plaza and please Luke, and also have the wedding of her dreams, or do it in Oxshott with the family she adores. At the same time, Luke is spending too much time with Elinor's charity --he's assigned a member of his staff to work with Elinor full-time on her charity, insisting it will be good PR for Brandon Communications, despite his partner Michael's severe reservations. Becky insists he's being taken advantage of, and that Luke is so desperate to impress Elinor, he won't let himself see it. When Becky finds press of Elinor, claiming total credit for all the work her charity has done, she reluctantly shares the information with Luke. Suze, in the meantime, is insisting Becky pick a location for her wedding...and gets so upset with Becky's indecision--she tells Michael and Suze lamely that "it'll work itself out"--and Suze is so fed up and anxious she goes into premature labor. Throwing her entire life to the wind, Becky stays with Suze for the first two weeks of her godson Ernie's life plans her dream wedding to Luke Brandon- one in Oxshott, planned by her own parents, and the other in Manhattan, planned by Luke's cold mother, Elinor. After Luke and his mother have a final confrontation, it seems like Becky's miracle has happened...but can Becky just let Luke cut Elinor out of his life for good? Coming up with an exquisite plan that only Becky Bloomwood could come up with, she saves the day for everyone...and in the process, sets up Michael with a woman he can truly love, and sets off Danny Kovitz's astronomical career as well.
Shopaholic & Sister
In Shopaholic & Sister newly-wed Becky returns from a 10-month long honeymoon around the world to discover she has a half sister through her father - but frugal environmentalist Jess is nothing like Becky ever imagined a sister to be. After an awkward visit and confrontation, Becky must patch up her relationship not only with Jess, but also with her husband Luke and her best friend Suze, who seems to have found a new best friend while Becky was away. At the end of the book she learns that she and Luke are expecting their first child.
Shopaholic & Baby
In Shopaholic & Baby Becky is going through the joys of expecting her first child, complete with shopping for baby and a new home. She suspects that her husband is having an affair with her celebrity obstetrician (who is also his former university girlfriend) Venetia Carter, particularly after Venetia herself tells Becky as much.After she persuades Becky that she and Luke are seeing each other and their relationship was like Penelope and Odysseus. Through her professional and personal woes, Becky happily ends the book a new mum to daughter Minnie. Luke and Becky temporarily move in with her parents after losing out on the home they hoped to buy, while Luke works to save his company.
In Mini Shopaholic, Minnie is now 2 years old. There is a major financial crisis, and after Minnie's christening is a bust, Becky decides to throw a surprise party for Luke's birthday. However, many doubt she can keep the party a secret. Meanwhile, Jess and Tom got married in secret in Chile and Janice is trying to get them to have children. Minnie is going off the rails, and their fifth proposed house purchase has fallen through...and, as it turns out, Jane (far from being about to die from empty nest syndrome) is actually anxious for them to leave, so she can have her house back from all of Becky's stuff. Luke and Becky, during this financial crisis, agree that Luke won't buy his new car (as he'd planned to, to celebrate finally celebrating the settlement of the Arcados group) and, seeing his willingness to sacrifice, Becky agrees to wear every single item in her wardrobe three times before shopping again (a process which, even with layering and changing a couple of times a day, will take her to November). Meanwhile, Becky is also trying to persuade Luke to have another baby, but he refuses because of Minnie's increasingly bad behavior. Any old reason is good enough for Becky to want another child; she sees some pom-pom hats and wants them to be known as the children in the pom-pom hats, much as she herself wanted to be known as The Girl in the Denny and George Scarf, or The Girl With the Angel Bag. Becky and her mother Jane--who is finally fed up with dealing with the fallout of one of Becky's crisises after another (but also constantly inviting herself where she's not wanted) have their first serious row, and go for weeks without speaking...even as Jess has to battle Janice about her constant machinations to produce a grandchild, such as giving Tom libido-increasing tea and hiding their condoms. Becky still has issues with Elinor whom wants to see Minnie, but as she recognizes some similarities with Minnie and Elinor (which Luke staunchly denies, furious with Elinor about a slight she made about Annabel after Annabel's death) She eventually reconciles with Elinor after Elinor insists on helping out with the party, which by now is a shambles. Elinor also finally accepts responsibility for her actions in selfishly abandoning Luke, and in a moment of extreme vulnerability, refers to Annabel as "his real mother". Still worried about Minnie's wild behavior, Luke (without consulting Becky) hires Nanny Sue, a nanny with her own TV show, who goes into people's homes and they wind up "sobbing on her shoulder and asking, 'Nanny Sue, how can we be better people?'" But Nanny Sue's assessment comes as a bit of a surprise--as does the real reason he doesn't want a second child. Nanny Sue, after observing Becky's behavior at a mall, is the first person to ask her if she's considered the possibility she might have a shopping addiction...and Minnie's piped up comments of "Pocket money? Shops? Starbucks? Visa?" do nothing to dissuade anyone of that notion. After agreeing to go to "Shopaholics Boot Camp", at last, Becky and Luke can move forward with the idea of expanding their family...if only they can survive the "surprise" party, which over two million people in London have found out about. At the end of the book, Becky has become aware that Luke is doing business for Sage Seymour (a Julia Roberts-type movie star) and that he wants to take the whole family to Hollywood for three months.
In this reviewer's opinion, making Becky American was a terrible mistake. So many things about Becky are lovingly and quaintly British; the names of her friends made no sense in America; and casting bony and black-haired Krysten Ritter as the blonde, soft-spoken Suze was a huge mistake as well. Leaving out so many things--such as Becky's idea to start making frames from a kit on TV for extra money (which Suze winds up not only excelling at, but creating her own frames which are immediately snapped up by all posh London department stores and boutiques) show not only Becky's get-rich-quick ideas but her loyalty to her friends. Cutting out Tarquin's Scottish royalty robs him of every bit of his flavor, and he's reduced to a cameo. Lastly, the bit where Becky writes a story for the Daily World about how her parent's next-door-neighbors got conned out of a windfall is what binds she and Luke together in the first place and shows the heart of Becky Bloomwood--and it's nowhere in the film.Plus, in the books, Becky's family lives in Oxshott, which is the most expensive suburb of London, and it's heavily hinted that Becky's extravagances are learned from her mother; in the movie, they're penny-pinchers who buy an RV with their savings.
This is what happens when you take a good British story and try to make it American. Had it been done properly, ALL of the books would have been made into films that were sellouts.