The Devil Wears Prada is considered to be the always-adorable British actress Emily Blunt’s national “break-out” role, and probably, Anne Hathaway’s (the “America’s sweetheart” star after The Princess Diaries) first “adult” role. What I do know about this little gem of a movie is that it’s quite possibly one of the best comedies I’ve ever seen. Seriously.
The Devil Wears Prada (2006) Film Review
Fresh off a journalism degree and living in the Big Apple, the naïve, wide-eyed Andy Sachs (Hathaway) is ready to take the world of serious journalism by storm. Unable to find the kind of work she really wants, she applies for an assistant job at a high-class fashion magazine instead. Her position involves working closely with the editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), only her job isn’t exactly a dream. She answers calls, fetches coffee and dry-cleaning and is expected to be ten steps ahead of Miranda before Miranda even knows what her schedule is.
Personal assistant Emily (Blunt) gives what little short-lipped advice she is willing to part with, but it’s the fall fashion show is Paris that is about to be Andy’s undoing. Her choice comes down to whether or not she’s will to endure a boss who doesn’t care or ear that perfect resume recommendation.
Everyone has different opinions, and certainly we do not all agree on what makes a good film. As usual, I’ve not read the novel on which this particular film is based (and have been told it isn’t in the same caliber as its cinematic counterpart), but I have watched this far too many times, and can say, for once, this chick flick doesn’t waste the viewer’s time. Sure, there’s flaws that you may wish were written as more original or maybe you don’t like the cast, none of which wipes clean how wonderfully snazzy and yes, devilishly good this film is.
At the surface, what we see is a story that has great fashion sense and likable characters. What we don’t see is the script staring us in the face in a way that we never confront ourselves or are too afraid to chase the truth of. In Andy, this perhaps seems nothing more than a common story about a wide-eyed innocent who arrives in the big-city with nothing but a dream that is either her best friend or worst enemy. In the illustration writer’s give us, it’s the former and at its best, most creative and illuminating moments, this movie is for the dreamer in all of us. Everyone can relate to Andy in some way. Whether it’s her don’t-care-what-you-think attitude or the version of her who tries desperately to fit in, part of you will vicariously live through her.
The fun and edgy fashions will cause us to wish our closest was a bit bigger. Unlike fellow cinematic fashionista Confessions of a Shopaholic, these “fashion plates” are actually fabulous. Each ensemble is either cutting-edge and sharp, sassy and feminine or casual and chic. And in a film set against the cutthroat world of fashion, this is a delight to see. Then this doesn’t even cover anything about the cast, all of whom are STUPENDIOUS! Seriously, there isn’t a weak link in the bunch.
Meryl Streep in the consummate performer at her craft, and in this role, she takes the boss-from-hell to an entirely new, unparalleled match. She is human imperfections and yet on the outside, perfection itself; and she says more with one lift of her perfectly sculpted brow than she ever does with her soft-spoken voice or dismissive “that’s all” gesture. Hathaway proves she can be so much more than a Disney princess, and of course, British funny girl, Emily Blunt is wonderful. Even Andy’s devoted boyfriend (Adrian Grenier) is a fun character if not a smidgen stereotyped.
Although we don’t usually discover lessons to live by in comedy, that is exactly what The Devil Wears Prada imparts. Its script is a relevant one. What begins with an innocent “need” to fit in, to be liked, stretches into something poignant. In her desperation to fit in, Andy allows that first choice to snowball into something of an “obsession” to feel a part of the world she never wanted to be a part of.
The film takes us on a delightful journey of self-worth and learning the hard way how to find our way back to discovering just who we are. I can remember being surprised by the end the first time I watched this. It’s not a bad one, but does initially come across as “failure.” It isn’t. There is so much more to this story than success and is one that should awaken us to what easy targets we are to temptation – whether it comes concealed, glittering in diamonds or Prada, matters little. We should always be on our guard.
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CONTENT: an unmarried couple live together. One scene shows her teasing him with her new lingerie, another scene implies a one-night stand; she wakes up in a disheveled bed. There are a few sexual innuendos and remarks about starving oneself in order to fit into a smaller size. Opening credits parade women in their lingerie – showing a contrast between the “successful” woman and the “working class.” Minor profanities are in the script; including sh*t, da*n, etc. This is PG13.