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Overall Rating
3.31

Awesome: 8.65%
Worth A Look42.31%
Average: 25%
Pretty Bad: 19.23%
Total Crap: 4.81%

9 reviews, 50 user ratings


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Devil Wears Prada, The
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by brianorndorf

"It contains a montage set to Madonna's Vogue. Go see Superman."
2 stars

Without Meryl Streep, “Devil Wears Prada” would be lost in a whirlwind of softball television direction and ridiculous melodrama. A worn-out look at the fashion industry, what starts off as a light farce soon starts to take itself seriously, thus robbing the film of any threadbare appeal.

Aspiring journalist Andrea (Anne Hathaway) has received a shot to work at the prestigious fashion magazine “Runway.” The catch is she’s the new junior assistant to the industry’s most feared and respected editor, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). Finding her minimum wage bohemia clashes with the haute couture workplace, Andrea undergoes a slick transformation, emerging a top drawer assistant, dragged into Miranda’s icy world and neglecting her boyfriend (Adrian Grenier, doing his best brick wall impression) and family as she’s slowly consumed by the demands of her job.

“Devil Wears Prada” aims to dramatize the fashion industry much like every other film about the fashion industry: as a soulless black hole of contempt, judgment, and snobbery. “Prada” is based on a best-selling slice of insider fiction by Lauren Weisberger and should be a film teeming with delicious dish on fashion’s most influential and loathed. Instead, director David Frankel and screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna have decided to make a television movie-of-the-week, taking significant sting out of the material.

Softening the bite of Weisberger’s novel is one thing, but the filmmakers have defanged the entire idea, choosing to turn Andrea’s trip to hell and back into a series of pre-digested “I heart New York” sequences aimed at the average Perez Hilton reader. There is fun early on in the film witnessing Andrea’s baptism by fire, mesmerized as she speeds around the city running errand after errand, trying to keep up with Miranda’s insane demands. Played with appropriate wide-eyed disbelief by Hathaway (a wonderful, natural actress), the early going gives the audience a genuine view of the character’s isolation in the fashion world, and offers the right tempo for the whole endeavor: farcical, fast, and at least attempting some comedy (to me, it never made it to genuine laughs).

As Andrea gets trapped in Miranda’s quicksand, Frankel puts his history directing “Sex and the City” to good use by cribbing the small screen structure of vocational betrayal and personal neglect to capture melodramatic scenes that are just so last season. “Prada” starts to feel agonizingly manufactured as it assembles roadblocks for Andrea’s happiness, hastily sketching a love interest in Christian (Simon Baker), a sleezeball journalist Andrea improbably falls for and someone McKenna doesn’t know how to successfully place in the whirlwind of the plot. “Prada” gets sloppy as it tries to condense Weisberger’s structure, and Frankel gets boorish trying to sell the blitzkrieg of New York social demands and viper-pit fashion figures without a wisp of originality. Yes, if you can believe it, there’s actually a montage scored to Madonna’s “Vogue.” That’s how much a pushover directing job this is.

But there’s always Meryl Streep.

Consistently the rose on top of any pile of garbage, Streep’s performance as Miranda is what “Prada” should’ve used as the standard for depth for the entire production. This is a lusciously internalized piece of acting. Streep’s Miranda is a chainsaw blade in the flesh; wielding her years of wisdom and fame to bring anything with ambition and disrespect down to their knees.

Streep is chilly perfection, keeping her face tight and judgmental, and choosing her words carefully so they land perfect Jason Voorhees-style machete strikes on their intended victims. Steep embodies the character so well that she even survives the attempts by Frankel to destroy the very essence of her character in the finale, maintaining a sublime concentration that’s bulletproof to the unstoppable mediocrity of “The Devil Wears Prada.”

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=14734&reviewer=404
originally posted: 06/30/06 13:54:49
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User Comments

3/18/17 Louise (the real one) The book is way better. 3 stars
3/18/14 Wmchfwqk If china you have the total new sales, and at least a misdemeanor -- after intimidating the 4 stars
9/04/08 Rachel Anne Hathaway is just so damn likeable and Streep is great as always. 4 stars
7/12/08 TreeTiger Avoid this... 1 stars
6/08/08 PAUL SHORTT A CLEVER, FUNNY LOOK AT THE WAY WE SOMETIMES RISK SELLING ONE'S SOUL IN THE NAME OF SUCESS 4 stars
5/06/08 Les one of the best movies of the last 2 years. It's funny and touching. 4 stars
8/13/07 Annonomiss Entertaining film. Streep doesn't go for the obvious. See it! 4 stars
7/02/07 R.W. Welch Slightly satirical take on the fashion game with sharp script and acting. 4 stars
4/27/07 Double M Everybody was really good, But the surprise for me was Emily Blunt, this girl is AWESOME.. 4 stars
3/11/07 Ryan_A Streep was fantastic, as was Tucci (he usually is). Rest of the movie, not so much. 3 stars
2/16/07 Bitchflaps A thoroughly vacuous hour and a half, should be dark, but is cutesy and maudlin. 1 stars
1/30/07 David Pollastrini Anne Hathaway is hot! 5 stars
1/29/07 Stanley Thai Better than many comedies these days. Acting were great. 4 stars
1/28/07 Edith Tide Meryl Streep could have found many less annoying ways to get another Oscar nomination! 2 stars
1/17/07 BigSnake Streep unbelievably good, rest of movie formulaic 4 stars
1/08/07 Phil M. Aficionado It was OK, but not "special" in any way, except Streep was terrific again 3 stars
12/18/06 Ole Man Bourbon Terrible. Predictable. Stupid. And the lead girl has something wrong with her eyes. 1 stars
12/05/06 KT meryl streep is the greatest actor i know so how could this movie be bad?? i love it 5 stars
11/27/06 Alice comedy? didn't laugh much, just an avarage movie. 3 stars
11/24/06 MP Bartley Streep is killer - but the movie is ironically too superficial. 3 stars
11/16/06 KC Meryl Streep's Oscar-worthy performance makes this a must-see! 5 stars
11/11/06 Sandra What possessed Meryl Streep to go near this turkey? Boring. Anne H becoming stereotyped. 1 stars
11/02/06 The Lurchprong Splitter Who said Mery Streep WAS Glenn Close, FCOL? 2 stars
10/26/06 moderntwist.blogspot It set me thinking. 4 stars
10/20/06 Karan Top notch! Highly recommend it 5 stars
10/19/06 Laura Are you stupid?? Meryl Streep is not Glenn Close!!! It's not the same person, idiots! 3 stars
10/18/06 Bruce Streep wonderful, but movie full of negative body image messages for young women 2 stars
10/16/06 Louise Enjoyable but the ending could have been stronger. 4 stars
10/11/06 Anne Hathaway AIN'T fat, but Julia Roberts might BE Jabba The Hut! Must be insulting if you like high fashion; Interminable and repellent if you don't. 2 stars
10/09/06 Meredith Harshaw Meryl Streep makes us miss DEATH BECOMES HER; Anne Hathaway makes us miss ELLA ENCHANTED. 2 stars
10/07/06 Jenny Tullwartz Never a good sign when pernicious indulgence is all that keeps a movie from being boring. 2 stars
10/06/06 Don't care what Eric D may say Twould've been better if all leads had farted in their haute couture lingerie at some point 2 stars
10/06/06 Kole I am in NY and I am straight - My girl dragged me and I must say I enjoyed it! 5 stars
10/03/06 Tanya Streep was priceless! 4 stars
9/29/06 Hart Worth every dollar I spent - 5 stars
9/22/06 Lisa Craven Streep at her best, never knew bitchy could be so good. Entertaining & Fun 4 stars
9/08/06 Hardy This movie really show what is happening in the fashion world as i experienced it myself 5 stars
8/20/06 diljeet singh kalsi Once again Ms Streep proves that she is the undisputed queen of all actresses.I have had th 4 stars
8/17/06 Pn. Walk on my back with spiked heals, Ms. Streep! 4 stars
8/03/06 Bill Good - Music/Cityscapes/Amusing/Worth the price of a ticket 4 stars
7/29/06 Heather Marie go to Hell 1 stars
7/13/06 Captain Highcrime If you're in NY or LA I dare you to find a straight male sitting in the audience. 3 stars
7/13/06 orpament Fun if you go with a teenaged girl! 4 stars
7/11/06 katsat Hathaway annoying but Streep is more than enough reason to see this.And dump the boyfriend! 4 stars
7/08/06 Gerry Irons very silly- not worth a rental 2 stars
7/07/06 Mike V Formulaic, but GOOD formulaic. 4 stars
7/06/06 Mase Proves what i've always felt. Dark Comedy is Streeps true cinematic calling. 5 stars
7/06/06 mwr Immensely enjoyable, Streep is Oscar perfection, Hathaway good too 5 stars
7/05/06 jcjs disturbing people can be so stupid sometimes..talk about lives of quiet desperation, snobs 3 stars
7/04/06 Joseph Great fun, excellent acting 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  30-Jun-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 12-Dec-2006

UK
  05-Oct-2006

Australia
  28-Sep-2006




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