"Stealing Chanel" is a well-scripted and well-acted sitcom-style film. A career thief, Giorgio Bene received compliments from his dad when he was able to recall details from fabrics. Eventually, he became a professional shoplifter in the world of haute couture in Manhattan. Then, he meets his match in the therapist who wants to reform him.
Chanel Borden comes from an elite family with her father a Wall Street baron. But she is struggling to complete her Ph.D. in psychology. For her research project, she finds the perfect guinea pig in Giorgio. When a corrupt judge remands Giorgio to Chanel's care, she takes him to boot camp with an intense plan for rehab.
The filmmakers hit all the right notes in keeping the tone upbeat and lively. The actors were superb in their timing and comic repartee. There was an excellent set of characters, including Giorgio's mom, Filomena, who was addicted to gambling. Dr. Titus Adler, the supervisor of Chanel's dissertation, tried to plagiarize elements of Chanel's "aversion therapy." Nearly all of the characters in the film are shysters. While Giorgio is considered "a threat to capitalism," the others exceed him by light years in the area of hustling and scamming the system.
My favorite character was Yuri, the cutthroat proprietor of a designer men's store. Giorgio shoplifts from Yuri, is caught, and sent to Riker's Island. Later, Yuri hires Giorgio, whom he finds useful for his counterfeiting scheme in which he is cloning one-of-a-kind fashions.
Giorgio's "misdirected creativity" gets a boost from Chanel. Slowly, Giorgio becomes honest as Chanel gives in the lies she has been living. But, as the wise Giorgio understands all too well, "the world is full of lies. That's how the world works."
There was some excellent stock footage of New York and a superb cast in this light-hearted romp about the kid from Queens who finally realized his dream.
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