‘The Devil Wears Prada’ is the Best of Smart and Sophisticated

April 19, 2013 28 Comments

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

the devil wears prada

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.

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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.

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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.  

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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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You can find the novel on Amazon; or also rent or own the film, digitally, on Amazon.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006): Is the Best of Smart and Sophisticated. Based on the novel of the same name, the film stars Anne Hathaway Click To Tweet

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.

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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28 Comments

  • Charity April 19, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    My favorite movie that isn't a costume drama. And to think, when the trailer came out and was just a two minute clip from the film, I had no intention of seeing it! Thankfully, on a Friday afternoon off work, I changed my mind! I think I can quote the entire film, from beginning to end. =P

    • Rissi April 19, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      So glad you did also, Charity! I love this movie and was shocked at how long it'd been since last I watched it. Re-watching it a couple Fridays ago made me happy – something about it is refreshing and coupled with the "fun" are lessons.

      Quoting the entire film? That is impressive! ;)

  • Kate April 19, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    I haven't seen this one in a few years, but I don't remember being that crazy about it (excepting, of course, Meryl Streep's brilliant acting). I'll have to rewatch it sometime to see if I still feel the same way about it.

    • Rissi April 19, 2013 at 8:25 pm

      Meryl Streep is brilliant in this role – you got that right, Kate! :) I'm not sure what it is that I so love about this movie… but I do! The fashion, the characters (and acting), the moral lessons – just everything is really good.

      I hope if you ever decide to re-watch it that you enjoy it more; let me know what your second impression is of The Devil Wears Prada. :)

  • Lydia April 19, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I loved this movie! I saw it on TV, and thought it was sooo good.

    • Rissi April 19, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      *high five*

      So do I, Lydia! Such a good one. :)

      BTW: Love your new profile pic. It's cute.

  • AnnaKate April 19, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Ah, I love this one! Emily Blunt is hysterical and Meryl Streep is just perfecion. Plus, so many beautiful outfits…

    The only thing I didn't like about this movie is the way they portrayed one romance as more wholesome than the other, considering that she WAS living in sin with her boyfriend just as with the other sleazeball of a guy… but still, overlooking that fact, this movie is super fun. I really want to try and get it somewhere so I can show it to my mom. Devil Wears Prada girls night? Sounds fun to me. =)

    And I love the overall moral to this film. I think it would be so easy to lose sight of your identity in such a temporal sort of work environment, so I loved seeing that struggle. =)

    xx

    • Rissi April 19, 2013 at 8:35 pm

      Oh, me too, AnnaKate. Between the cast (Emily is memorable!) and the fashion, it's a keeper. Hey, random question: have you ever seen Emily in Wild Target? It's a quirky British comedy that was "fun" for a one-time watch but I probably won't ever own. Between certain story elements and the crude humor, it wasn't as memorable as it could have been.

      Totally understand your reservations about the romance. Despite their relationship being a "live-in" one, I thought Andy and Nate were cute together then was annoyed that Andy "gave in" while in Paris with that loser of a dude. *sigh* Guess for every pro in a movie, there are two cons waiting in the wings. :)

      I think the biggest surprise of all was the moral lessons. The best thing of all was that, yes, it's so relatable – it would be easy to get caught up in a glittering lifestyle and that transitioned unto the screen very well. Anything else would have been dishonest because that's just human nature.

      Hope you can find this one soon! A couple weeks ago, my mom told me to pick a movie and I popped this one in – it'd been too long since I'd seen it and it was such fun! I'd bet your mom would enjoy it. :)

    • Charity April 20, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      Christian (the guy she sleeps with in Paris) IS the Devil in the story — he's the final proof that Andy has changed from being the nice girl she was into the same backstabbing traitor that she works with on a daily basis. The early Andy would never fall for that — because of her bad influences, the later Andy has no problem giving in.

    • Rissi April 20, 2013 at 7:41 pm

      Whoa! That's an irony there – Christian being the "devil" in the story. Huh.

      It's nice to see Andy give everything up – especially since most movies would have merely "rearranged" some things and had her continue working only on different terms. Glad it ended as it did, bittersweet or not. :)

    • Charity April 23, 2013 at 5:39 pm

      Well, if you think about it, Christian leads her down a path to destruction.

      When she's about to quit — he gets her the Harry Potter book, so she can keep her job.

      HE stalks/tries to seduce her several times KNOWING she's involved with someone else.

      HE gets her drunk in Paris and puts the moves on her.

      That's how the devil works. It's tempting to think of the devil in Prada as Miranda, but she isn't subtle — she's flat out, in your face nasty. Christian on the other hand is charming, seductive, and gets exactly what he wants without you realizing until it's too late what he's up to. (Or at least, Andy didn't figure it out — I knew he was bad news the minute I saw him.) Miranda doesn't corrupt by influence — she simply asks for what she wants and expects you to get it for her, whereas Christian manipulates you until you give it to him.

      That's one of the reasons I like it so much — there's so much to think about in its characters. :)

    • Rissi April 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm

      That is the main reason this movie is so good – you are right! There is much to ponder as opposed to the "average" chick flick.

      All your points were valid save for perhaps the book one – I don't really see that as him seeing she keeps her job because she came to him with that. He couldn't have known Andy needed that but then again, perhaps that was his evil plan. ;)

      You've got a great point here and I agree: where Miranda will look you in the eye and demand what she wants, Christian uses seduction and lies to get it. That is the scariest kind of temptation.

  • Kellie April 19, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Yeez, it's been a lot time since I watched this movie! And wow, I can't believe it's been 7 years since it came out! Wow…there's something about seeing how long ago certain movies came out that makes one feel old. ;)

    • Rissi April 19, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      LOL! Funny how something so simple can make us pause and go, "wait – that came out when!?" Guess it can make us feel "old." (Although we SO are not old, Kellie. ;D) In particular I can say that I remember things from ten years ago and it can be a bit of a wake-up call. Sometimes. ;)

  • KatySue Pillsbury April 19, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Love this movie, I also really liked how wearable the fashions were, instead of so crazy you know no one is really wearing them!

    • Rissi April 19, 2013 at 8:39 pm

      You and I both, KatySue! Such a good one. And, like you, I loved the fashions! They are so much cooler than in Confessions of a Shopaholic despite that one being cute. :)

  • Elizabeth Mayberry April 20, 2013 at 12:47 am

    classic! i love ann hathaway and Meryl Streep!!!!!!!!!!

    • Rissi April 20, 2013 at 3:34 am

      This is a classic, Elizabeth. Must agree – the cast alone is PHENOMANAL! :)

  • Valerie April 20, 2013 at 2:03 am

    Hey, I re-watched this one just a couple nights ago! It's feally a fun and unique movie. I have an edited version from one of the now out-of-business editing companies, so luckily I was spared the innuendos and language. :)

    It's been several years since I first saw it, but I enjoyed it this time just as much as the first. Great movie for a girls night! ;)

    • Rissi April 20, 2013 at 3:40 am

      I would agree, Valerie – it's such a CUTE little movie. That's nice that you have it edited. This isn't one I've seen edited but I'd imagine it's one of the "easier" titles to cute out the bad. If you like that service, you should consider ClearPlay. My family doesn't use it a whole lot but when we do, I appreciate having it. :)

      Of my favorites, I think this is possibly one of the BEST chick flicks – it's so good! :)

    • Valerie April 20, 2013 at 6:27 am

      My family actually has Clearplay; it definitely makes it so we can watch more movies, and I'm glad to have it. :) But…. I find some of the "edits" it does are somewhat distracting, especially the mutes it does for language. We have the profanity filters set on low or medium usually (depending on the movie), as it's just too choppy to set the profanity filters at max. I guess the way around that would be to find movies that don't have a ton of language, but nowadays that's rather hard, LOL! :) I'm glad to have Clearplay, but whenever I watch one of our old "edited dvds" it just makes me miss those services because their edits were almost seamless.

      I had a chance to watch several "older" (okay, 5 to 15ish years old) movies this week, The Devil Wears Prada, Ever After, Music & Lyrics, and a couple others. I've found that I appreciate certain movies more now than I did when I was younger, so it was fun to go back and revisit them, especially since it had been 5 to 10 years since I'd seen them. It's interesting how a few years can change your perspective on something! ;)

    • Rissi April 20, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      Ooops! To edit my prior comment, I meant this: This isn't one I've seen edited but I'd imagine it's one of the "easier" titles to cut out the bad. Should have said "cut," not "cute"!

      Anyway… sometimes ClearPlay is a bit distracting. Having said that, I'd much rather have a muted moment than hear a string of swear words. It depends on the film too. I saw one that was rated R and I was VERY impressed with the editing job – I hardly noticed when or if something was being cut. Then I'll see a PG13 movie and it's VERY obvious when the edits happen. True it is distracting but overall, I prefer the silence as opposed to the dialogue. ;)

      I suppose that's what comes with a DVD player editing as opposed to a service that edited the actual DVD. It is sad that all those companies have gone by the wayside because, yes, they were wonderful!

      Aw! Love those movies you listed! So good. It is ironic how our cinematic perspectives change – as does everything in life (hopefully for the better, too!). And yes, it's entertaining to re-visit something we'd all but forgotten and while I didn't feel like that with Devil Wears Prada, it'd been TOO long since I'd watched it. :)

      Thanks for your comments, Valerie – as always I appreciate them.

  • Mette April 23, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Aw, this is a truly lovely post. The Devil Wears Prada is one of my favorite chick-flicks too, and it's one of the most intelligent ones. Loved Stanley Tucci in it as well.

    • Rissi April 23, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      Hey, Mette! Thanks so much for reading. Mine, too! I adore this movie SO much. Oh, gosh, yes! Stanley is hilarious in this role – but then, usually, he's great in every role. :)

  • Katy April 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Really nice post! As a fan of the book (when I first read it once upon a time) the adaptation is all right. Not exactly on point but still way more enjoyable than most modern chick flicks. :)

    • Rissi April 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm

      Hello, Katy! Thanks SO much for stopping by and reading. :)

      I actually really like this movie but understand how some films are a disappointment after reading the book. I never did, so I am judging this one by its film adaptation alone. Glad you liked it okay even still. :)

      …and THNAK YOU for the follow! Hope you enjoyed your visit – stop in anytime.

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