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The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
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Review Date: June 23, 2006
Director: David Frankel
Writer: Aline Brosh McKenna
Producers: Wendy Finerman
Actors:
Meryl Streep as Miranda
Anne Hathaway as Andy
Emily Blunt as Emily
Plot:
A naïve college chick with zero fashion sense gets a job as the assistant’s assistant of one of the bitchier bosses in the New York City fashion industry, and proceeds to do her best to fulfill her duties, while at the same time, not losing her dignity or mind. Along the way, she develops a better fashion sense, and a better sense of her boss, who along the way, remains the bitchiest bitch this side of the biggest bitch who’s ever bitched you out. Yeah, bitch…I said it!! Lots of fashion stuff and bitchiness ensues.
Critique:
Checking into the screening for this picture with my “lady of the evening” (no, not a hooker, just the girl who joined me for the movie), I was expecting a “chick flick” with plenty of fashion garbage wrapped up in superficiality, bitchiness and nothing much at its center -- and no, I’m not talking about my date! <> What I got instead was an actual good time, courtesy of an actress who goes by the name of Meryl and Streep, who I’ve always enjoyed over the years, but whose status as “the uber-actress” was always lost on me. That is until recently as I too have converted over to the side of “big fan” of this awesome woman, who can seemingly play anything and everything across the board, while at the same time, convincing you of her character, inside and out, and even providing some depth to certain personalities who on the surface, seem to have none. Case in point: as cold-hearted, rude, condescending, superficial and arrogant as Streep’s character was in this film, I couldn’t help but ultimately feel sort of sorry for the woman. You really gotta be some sort of actress to pull that off! In real life, I wouldn’t waste a spit to spit on the woman with those sorts of horrific personality traits.

The film itself plays everything else pretty safe though, with every step of the way pretty clear to most anyone who has seen any other “fish out of water/naïve moral person being mentored by an amoral successful suit” movie, with everything from the generic good friends, the bitchy counterpart, the easy-going boyfriend and the obvious transformation sequences coming as no surprise as the film scurries along. Luckily for us, the world in which we’re placed is pretty exciting, with some neat insight into the craziness that is the high-fashion industry, as well as all of the “pretty things” that go along with it. The always entertaining Stanley Tucci also comes through as the somewhat sympathetic gay co-worker (and by “sympathetic”, I mean that he’s the least bitchy of them all…everyone is bitchy in the film, incidentally), while Anne Hathaway also does a decent job as the aforementioned “fish”, but sadly, it didn’t seem to be much of a stretch from what she did in the PRINCESS DIARIES movies (just in a more adult world). It was also nice to see Entourage’s Adrian Grenier on the big screen (go Aquaman!!), but the real reason to see this film has got to be Streep as she slithers her way through every scene, destroys people with her stares alone, kills entire fashion lines with a pucker of her lips, and delivers many very deliciously vicious lines. She also doesn’t come off as entirely over-the-top unbelievable, which kept me interested in the film and entertained throughout (although it did run a little too long).

If you loved Streep’s uber-hard-ass character in THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, you’ll love her in this movie, and if, unlike myself, you actually appreciate the fashion industry (i.e. if you’re of the female species), you’re sure to love all of the nastiness that goes on behind closed doors even more! Oh, and if you actually thought that you had a demanding and asshole boss in your own life, see this movie just to benchmark the level of asshole-ness that truly exists in this world (Streep’s character is apparently based on a certain editor-in-chief of “Vogue” magazine). Good times. “That’s all.”
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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1:26AM on 07/15/2006
Two words: Meryl Streep. Everyone has said, and I'm going to say it again...this is truly her film. She truly sank her teeth into this role with her wicked cunning and her fashion-destroying lips and glances. I've spent so much time complaining about my boss, and I assure you, I won't make that mistake again! What really impressed me here was Streep's ability to allow the character some vulnerability, even if only for a brief moment, it's more than what most of these types of characters are
Two words: Meryl Streep. Everyone has said, and I'm going to say it again...this is truly her film. She truly sank her teeth into this role with her wicked cunning and her fashion-destroying lips and glances. I've spent so much time complaining about my boss, and I assure you, I won't make that mistake again! What really impressed me here was Streep's ability to allow the character some vulnerability, even if only for a brief moment, it's more than what most of these types of characters are given. Streep will surely be remembered come awards time.

Anne Hathaway was also a surprisingly charming addition. I actually found myself able to connect to certain situations her character found herself in. The supporting cast also shines, especially Emily Blunt as the snooty assistant and Stanley Tucci as the gay guy and the less snooty of the group.

Yes, it's predictable, but it's got a visciously fun Meryl Streep, a charming Anne Hathaway, a great supporting cast, and a good sense of how important ethics in the work place really are, and how difficult it can be to balance a personal life and a work life. This is really a great little film.
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