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Overall Rating
3.31

Awesome: 8.65%
Worth A Look42.31%
Just Average: 25%
Pretty Crappy: 19.23%
Sucks: 4.81%

9 reviews, 50 user ratings



Devil Wears Prada, The
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by Matt Seaver

"If Anne Hathaway is fat, Julia Roberts is Jabba the Hutt."
2 stars

I must have had a bad night on Friday, because I don't remember how I wound up in this theater. I think it had something to do with Johnny Depp in black eye liner, and me being trampled by the eighty-four million people who wanted to see him on opening night. Somehow in the confusion, I ended up in a Meryl Streep film. And for a solid hour, that didn't bother me. And then they decided to change the rules, and make it inconsistent and preachy. Funny how that ruined my experience.

It's a cute little film with a cute little premise. Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) is fresh out of college with a degree in journalism and a head full of ideas. When she moves to New York City, she takes the only job she can get - working as the assistant to Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), the fashion czar ruling over Runway magazine with an evil-yet-perfectly-accessorized eye. After one day being scrutinized by Miranda and her fellow assistant Emily (Emily Blunt), Andy is ready to quit, but she buckles down and insists on doing the job well, because one year working for Miranda is a blank check to any job in publishing she could want. So she sticks with it, slowly moving into the fashion world... and surviving. But the rest of her life starts to suffer, as her boyfriend and friends begin to see a change in the practical, down-to-earth Andy they've always loved. Oh heavens! Whatever will she do??

I'm cool with this film being painfully cute. That is the goal, and it accomplishes that goal. And for the first three-quarters of the near-two hours, it's tolerable, even chuckle-worthy at times. The best parts of this film come from two situations. The first, while boring after awhile, gives Stanley Tucci a chance to steal scenes, and there's nothing wrong with that. As Nigel, Miranda's lead designer and consultant for the magazine, he's about as flamboyant as anyone could ever try to be. He gets the best writing, because he's here for the mainline comedy - one-liners, a sight gag here or there, and giving Andy shit. And he's good at that, so go him. The rest of the comedy comes from Miranda running Andy into the ground in one way or the other. Whether it's backhandedly (or blatantly) insulting Andy's fashion sense or her weight (yep, you heard it here, folks... Anne Hathaway is fat), giving her all manner of tasks with no warning or explanation, or calling her in the middle of the night because she had a random thought, Miranda puts Andy through her own personal hell. For most of the movie, this is all played for sadistic laughs. It's around the 85-minute mark where the film suddenly decides this isn't so funny anymore.

Now all along, the audience has known that Andy was digging her own grave, but each shovelful was played with a big grain of salt. Out of nowhere, the sad music starts playing, and we're supposed to bemoan the path Andy has begun to follow - a few choice decisions best highlight her lifestyle changes. At this point, the film switches from being a light-hearted comedy with a tiny little mean streak to being a lecture in priorities of life, condemning a lot of that mean streak as being "wrong." You can't switch tones so quickly and without warning like that without losing some people, and that's where Prada lost me.

Everything else in the film is competent, though not spectacular. Hathaway is there, though playing the wholesome, everyday girl who becomes glamorous sounds a bit familiar. Just remember... this time, she's homely and fat! Streep has gotten a lot of comments about how she played Miranda, especially since she's playing a bitch who is based on a real person. It's really not that hard to play mean. The little glimmer of human moments that struggle out of Miranda seemed forced - there's no reason that someone who has acted as she had would reveal herself as she does. It's jarring, and basically there to create sympathy for someone who is not much more than a raging bitch, and deserves much of what she gets. I understand it's a bit odd the question the realism of a character who is based on a real person, but I didn't buy it.

Behind the scenes, everything works, but no one stands out. It's certainly not a huge debut for director David Frankel, but it proves he can handle something beyond TV. The dialogue is nicely written and not too kitschy, which can happen easily in something dealing with this many stereotypes, but there's not a huge effort to make it anything special.

And that describes the film pretty well. Nothing special, and with a few missteps and inconsistencies that keep it below where it might have been. It does no damage to Hathaway or Tucci, but Streep might want to remind people of "A Prairie Home Companion" should this one ever come up.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=14734&reviewer=412
originally posted: 07/11/06 21:54:08
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User Comments

3/17/17 Louise (the real one) The book is way better. 3 stars
3/17/14 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
7/11/08 TreeTiger Avoid this... 1 stars
6/07/08 PAUL SHORTT A CLEVER, FUNNY LOOK AT THE WAY WE SOMETIMES RISK SELLING ONE'S SOUL IN THE NAME OF SUCESS 4 stars
5/05/08 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
7/01/07 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
3/10/07 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
1/29/07 David Pollastrini Anne Hathaway is hot! 5 stars
1/28/07 Stanley Thai Better than many comedies these days. Acting were great. 4 stars
1/27/07 Edith Tide Meryl Streep could have found many less annoying ways to get another Oscar nomination! 2 stars
1/16/07 BigSnake Streep unbelievably good, rest of movie formulaic 4 stars
1/07/07 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
12/04/06 KT meryl streep is the greatest actor i know so how could this movie be bad?? i love it 5 stars
11/26/06 Alice comedy? didn't laugh much, just an avarage movie. 3 stars
11/23/06 MP Bartley Streep is killer - but the movie is ironically too superficial. 3 stars
11/15/06 KC Meryl Streep's Oscar-worthy performance makes this a must-see! 5 stars
11/10/06 Sandra What possessed Meryl Streep to go near this turkey? Boring. Anne H becoming stereotyped. 1 stars
11/01/06 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
10/18/06 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
10/05/06 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
10/05/06 Kole I am in NY and I am straight - My girl dragged me and I must say I enjoyed it! 5 stars
10/02/06 Tanya Streep was priceless! 4 stars
9/29/06 Hart Worth every dollar I spent - 5 stars
9/21/06 Lisa Craven Streep at her best, never knew bitchy could be so good. Entertaining & Fun 4 stars
9/07/06 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
8/02/06 Bill Good - Music/Cityscapes/Amusing/Worth the price of a ticket 4 stars
7/28/06 Heather Marie go to Hell 1 stars
7/12/06 Captain Highcrime If you're in NY or LA I dare you to find a straight male sitting in the audience. 3 stars
7/12/06 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
7/07/06 Gerry Irons very silly- not worth a rental 2 stars
7/06/06 Mike V Formulaic, but GOOD formulaic. 4 stars
7/05/06 Mase Proves what i've always felt. Dark Comedy is Streeps true cinematic calling. 5 stars
7/05/06 mwr Immensely enjoyable, Streep is Oscar perfection, Hathaway good too 5 stars
7/04/06 jcjs disturbing people can be so stupid sometimes..talk about lives of quiet desperation, snobs 3 stars
7/03/06 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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