The Devil Wears Prada

 
Directed by: David Frankel
Written by:Aline Brosh McKenna
Starring: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, Adrian Grenier, Simon Baker
Released: September 28, 2006
Grade: A-

Miranda Priestly (Streep) is one of the most influential people in the fashion industry.  Her magazine, Runway, is highly respected and not a single piece of clothing is included in it without Miranda’s full approval.  She can make or break any budding fashion designer.

To call her an ice queen is an understatement.  There’s a fantastic scene early in the film when Miranda arrives at work early.  Her assistant, Emily (Blunt), has been tipped off by her limo driver and it sends the whole office into a spin.  They race around to ensure her coffee is on her desk and her list of chores has been filled.  Meryl Streep is incredible in the role.  She pouts her lips, never cracks a smile and speaks in a condescending voice that makes everyone in her presence feel inferior.

Andy (Hathaway) is a young girl who has just finished college and wants to be a journalist.  It’s not easy landing a first-up position at one of America’s leading publications and so she attends a job interview at Runway Magazine.  It’s not a position as a writer but rather as Miranda’s second assistant.  She is told that working for Miranda will open up many doors and that “a million girls would kill for this job”.

At the very brief interview, Miranda takes pity on Andy’s complete lack of fashion sense and decides to employ her.  The next twelve months will change Andy’s life.  She will have to sacrifice time with her boyfriend (Grenier) and other friends to meet the ever increasing demands her tyrant employer.  Andy tries hard to win Miranda’s respect but is it a battle that cannot be won?

The Devil Wears Prada is not without its flaws.  I found Andy’s fashion makeover a little too hard to believe.  She was still attractive before the makeover so I can’t understand why everyone is in such shock (it reminded me of She’s All That).  Further, Andy’s boyfriend gets upset that she’s spending too much time at work.  His one-sided argument has some credibility but surely he has to understand the demands of the job and the potential that it has for the future?

Criticisms aside, The Devil Wears Prada won me over with its fun spirit.  Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci and Emily Blunt all deliver their lines with comical cynicism.  There’s a lot of truth in what it has to say about the world of fashion and work in general.  Credit also must go to the marketing team with a very original trailer.  Instead of showing 100 clips which give away the entire story, they show a quick snippet from early in the film just to tease.  If you’ve seen it, hopefully my positive review for the film will only increase your interest in seeing what is a very enjoyable movie.