Function Order: Se-Fi-Te-Ni

 “A man will never love you or treat you as well as a store. If a man doesn’t fit, you can’t exchange him seven days later for a gorgeous cashmere sweater. And a store always smells good. A store can awaken a lust for things you never even knew you needed.” – Rebecca Bloomwood

Rebecca is the embodiment of “live in the moment, impulsively!” She has racked up over $16,000 in debt because she never thinks beyond this moment and the feel of that cashmere sweater or that green scarf. She never thinks about debt collectors or the fact that she might lose her job. When forced to get creative in the office, she can only refer back to her experiences with buying things and a split second later, her remorse at realizing she should have read the fine print—that expensive coat she bought for 50% off isn’t cashmere at all! Momentary decisions run her life, from her endless choice to swipe that credit card, in full denial of her mounting debts, to deciding to buy back a dress for a television interview from a thrift store, rather than her bridesmaid’s dress. She lies to a total stranger about why she needs $20 and then winds up sitting in an interview across the desk from him, and when he questions her knowledge of Finnish, she distracts him with the naked billboard outside his window. She often leaves things to the last minute, and is oblivious to social cues around her—rushing ahead with her ideas in front of his boss (who loves them, fortunately), throwing herself across tables to stop him from talking to her debt collector, spilling her love of shopping at a Shopaholics Anonymous class (and causing at least one of them to relapse into a binge spending spree). She loves people and wants to connect to them, but often says the wrong thing, or focuses too much on her own wants and needs. It’s only when she’s humiliated on public television and her parents discover her debt (and it crushes her to think they might sell the RV they spent their life savings to purchase) that she comes around to the realization that she can sell everything she bought that she doesn’t need and pay off her debts.

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Rebecca lives her life for pleasure, and when the man she loves asks her why, she says because it brings her a moment of happiness that then fades… and then she wants to find that happiness again. It’s one big distraction from the realities of her life, and she is in full denial that she has any problems. Though deep in debt, she’s still buying things she cannot afford and has a lifestyle and mindset of consumerism. She argues that she “needs” whatever she is swiping her credit card for, when in reality she just wants it. To feel the sheer pleasure of a purchase that brings nothing to her life. She has an entire closet full of shoes, hats, scarves, purses, watches, and dresses she has never worn, because each time a new situation comes up, she wants to self-pamper with a new outfit. New, new, new. She’s also irresponsible – she should be writing an article for her job, while on a three-week temporary basis, but instead she leaves it to the last minute and hands it in hours after the deadline, because she was standing in line at a department store sale. Rather than face her debt collector, she shamelessly makes up excuses and lies to keep him at a distance, even insisting that is the name of her stalker. Fortunately, before the end of the film, Rebecca comes to realize how destructive her lifestyle of avoidance and excess is, takes responsibility for her actions, pays off her debts, and learns to “borrow” instead of buying to excess.