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Overall Rating

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 Collin Souter

"I'm guessing this is what it's like to work for J-Lo"
4 stars

Iíve had the Boss From Hell once or twice in my life. Most recently, I had a few bosses at once who could have been molded into one single Boss that would have made for a nightmare of a human being. Luckily, these bosses each had a redeeming quality or two that kept them from being complete monsters. Or perhaps Iím giving them too much credit. Perhaps Iím defending them simply because they didnít destroy me. That happens. Sometimes you find yourself defending Devils Wearing Prada simply because they let you keep a shred of your own dignity in the face of adversity and humility. What makes them think they own that dignity? Success, narcissism, entitlement and power. Hey, it could have been worse. I could have been working for fashion moguls (a couple of them may as well have been).

Thatís the world in which The Devil Wears Prada[/] takes place. The film is based on the very popular novel by Lauren Weisberger, in which she loosely based her characters on the staff of Vogue magazine, for whom she worked for one year. Like Andrea Sachs, the main character in the film, played by Anne Hathaway, Weisberger took the job believing it would propel her career in journalism. Just work for the editor for one year and the world is your oyster. Except that Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) is more than the Editor in Chief. Sheís the all-knowing, all-seeing Dedicated Follower of Fashion who can make or break any designer with the simple purse of her lips.

Andrea, of course, has zero sense of fashion. She arrives to work each morning looking like a school marm in contrast to those around her who look like theyíre auditioning for an episode of Absolutely Fabulous
. She faces constant ridicule from her acid-tongued co-worker Emily (Emily Blunt) and no-holds-barred, constructive criticism from Nigel (Stanley Tucci). Her live-in boyfriend Nate (Adrian Grenier) tries his best to be supportive, as does her family, but nobody can quite see how such abuse is supposed to land her a dream job in journalism.

But Andrea makes the conscious decision to not let Mirandaís sadistic behavior get the better of her. Instead, she gets a wardrobe make-over and adopts the attitude that all one need do is put up with it for one year and see what happens. What happens, of course, is that the job ends up consuming her. Sheís sent on impossible errands to retrieve unpublished Harry Potter novels and to fetch lunches that go straight into the garbage can upon arrival. Just how long can one person hold out? Actually, the main thing for Andrea to hold out against is not her tyrannical boss, but against herself becoming ďone of them.Ē

If this film had been directed by, say, Nancy Myers, every actor here would be playing to the back of the room and turning in caricatures instead of characters. Streep knows better and makes Miranda a complex and believable villain, one who seems to have this evil streak running so deeply within her veins that she doesnít even realize she wasnít always like this. She seems so far gone from herself that her intimidation is completely believable. Hathaway is also a good choice as Andrea, teetering on the edge of losing herself and becoming an Emily-in-training. Tucci, thankfully, completely tones down what could have been a stereotypical, flamboyant, gay fashion hag. Instead, he plays Nigel as an embittered hanger-on who has waited too long for his big break.

Director David Frankel, who has directed some of the better episodes of Sex and the City and Entourage, doesnít go for the laughs here. Instead, he and screenwriter Aline Brosch McKenna know that there is enough mileage in the material for the audience to relate to, even if thereís nothing terribly funny about it. The story is about what happens to a person when they become their job. Everything else falls by the wayside and the primary relationship in oneís life becomes that with a boss than one with a romantic suitor or spouse. However, as the movie reinforces this theme repeatedly, it feels a bit too long and has a few too many montage sequences (but at least the music is good).

So, The Devil Wears Prada may not be a funny movie, but it is a smart one. It sets itself up for many phony pay-offs, but instead inherits the wisdom that people donít change as radically in real life as movies always want them to. The changes that happen between the main characters are subtle and come from a real place. With this set-up, we expect the inevitable blow out between Miranda and Andrea. We expect Andrea to finally come out and say ďYouíre evil and you have no idea how to treat people!Ē And we expect to see these characters end up rotting in the hell theyíve created for themselves. Perhaps they will, but in the real world those same characters will be just as happy there, with or without Andrea. Thatís the sad truth. I know. Iíve been there. Itís Hell. The best one can do is rise above it. Just donít always expect to rise too far.

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originally posted: 07/05/06 07:11:26
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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
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 about lives of quiet desperation, snobs 3 stars
7/04/06 Joseph Great fun, excellent acting 4 stars
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  30-Jun-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 12-Dec-2006



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