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Review of “The Devil Wears Prada” (2006) PG-13 109min

February 23rd, 2008 by Maxim · 3 Comments · 5,649 Views

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2/5

The Devil Wears Prada (2006) Blu-RayThe Devil Wears Prada (2006) DVDThe plot: Andrea Sachs’s (Anne Hathaway) dream was to become a journalist. A naive young woman, she comes to New York and scores a temporary job for the Runway [fashion] magazine working as an assistant secretary to ruthless, if not sadistic, chief editor Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). Andrea puts up with her extravagant boss’s requests because she is told that if she can last a year she can land the journalist’s job she craves. At first she is doing quite poorly, and she is a target of nasty comments from her fashionistas co-workers. She thinks she is being targeted and unappreciated for her hard work unfairly. The first breakthrough comes when a hot young writer, Christian Tompson (Simon Baker), she met at the fashion show helps her get an unpublished manuscript of next Harry Potter book for Miranda’s twin daughters. The second when her co-worker gets hit by the car and Miranda chooses Andrea to go to Paris with her. Miranda is faced with a dilemma, however: by dedicating herself to her job she is risking to lose her family and estranging her friends; also Miranda presented her with a choice: to have no career or to have to step over other people. Boyfriend is not happy about her new job either. At the same time Andrea discovers that behind the toughness of the Snow Queen-like Miranda is just another woman with rather tragic life.

The good: Meryl Streep is always fantastic in the roles of snow queens or iron ladies, who, even in direst circumstances can pull themselves together and come up a winner in the situation in the world where only the strong can survive – dog eat dog, rat eat rat. Anne Hathaway was a doll. Couple of good theme songs. Nominated for 2 Oscars and other awards, including multiple nominations for best costume design and Best Actress nominations for Meryl Streep. It has some sweet moments, but they all are cliche and lack depth.

The bad: The whole movie is a cliche, beginning with the characters like Anrea’s boyfriend, the rest of her friends, her coworkers, her boss, her seducer, her family, and particularly that U2 song, “The City of Blinding Lights”. It is targeted to 13-year old girls and is designed to teach them that family is more important that glamour or a cool job and that cliche idea that “beauty is on the inside” (which is what ugly women say). The movie for the most part is shot in the style of a reality show like “Project Runway” on Bravo, with a lot of quick pans, sharp angles etc. This movie could just as well be a Disney cartoon. Oh, and I when in inside-the-car scenes the background is so obviously montaged – if you were in Paris why couldn’t you shoot the scene with real background? Why use early 20th century techniques?

The summary: a flick full of cliches for teenage and pre-teen girls which just as well could be a Disney cartoon.

Credits: Director – David Frankel | Writers – Lauren Weisberger (novel), Aline Brosh McKenna (screenplay) | Original Music – Theodor Shapiro | Cinematography – Florian Ballhous | Art Direction – Tom Warren | Costume Design – Patricia Field | Fox 2000 Pictures

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Rated 2/5 on Feb 23 2008
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Tags: Chick Flick · Comedy · Drama

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Eugene // Feb 23, 2008 at 10:57 pm

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    Could not agree more, a complete chick flick for pre-teen and teenage girls. Waste of Meryl Streep’s talent and time.

  • 2 Josette // Feb 25, 2008 at 5:17 pm

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    Hah! They weren’t in Paris when they were in the car? Hmm….interesting.

    A criticial review though. :) Yeah, it’s all so cliched in the movie. I can predict what happens in the end even though I’ve not read the book yet.

  • 3 Eksantrik Presler // Mar 29, 2008 at 6:22 am

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    Meryl Streep is absolutely amazing as Miranda Priestly, and I especially liked the way that, as Miranda, she never raised her voice above normal speaking level. Streep has said she based this mannerism on Clint Eastwood, who as Dirty Harry talks very quietly but still intimidates. This made Miranda much more interesting than the stereotypical, screaming gorgon she could have become. She is certainly the best thing about this movie, and I think the odds are good that she’ll score a best-actress nod at the next Oscars. Miranda is also made more complex (and slightly more sympathetic) than in the book, which I thought was very good. In the book, which I recently read, the author (who actually worked as an assistant to ‘Vogue’ editor Anna Wintour) was very bitter and whiny about the difficulties of her former job, and she made Miranda out to be a totally two-dimensional villain with absolutely no redeeming qualities. However, the movie shows us (briefly) a different side of Miranda – we see the compromises she has had to make to get to the top, and we see the toll this has taken on her personal life. We aren’t made to agree with her diva-like behaviour, but we can understand how hard her life must be.

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