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Awesome: 8.65%
Worth A Look42.31%
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9 reviews, 50 user ratings

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Devil Wears Prada, The
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by Kim Voynar

"The Devil Wears Prada is haute couture entertainment at its wicked best."
4 stars

The Devil Wears Prada, based on the book of the same name by Lauren Weisberger, is a devilicious peek at the high fashion industry, as seen through the eyes of recent (and decidedly unfashionable) college grad Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway). Sachs has come to New York City to be a journalist, but at the end of her rainbow, her job options are with Auto Universe or "Runway" magazine – as assistant to Editor-in-Chief Miranda Priestly. Andy strolls into the world of high fashion in an ordinary outfit – not hideous, exactly, but worlds apart from what the model-thin fashionistas working at "Runway" adorn themselves with. She doesn’t know her Dolce from her Gabbana, and worse, she doesn’t even know who Miranda Priestly is.

In the world of high fashion, this is akin to showing up at a comic convention and not knowing who Stan Lee is. Miranda is the high-priestess of fashion; she doesn’t follow the trends, she sets them. When Miranda says jump, her staff asks how high and in what pair of designer stilettos. So when Miranda meets Andy, who openly challenges the unchallengeable Miranda, telling her that while she may not know everything about fashion, she’s smart and will work hard, Miranda decides to take a chance on the “smart, fat girl” (Andy, for the record, is all of a size 6, but in the world of "Runway" she’s practically obese).

Andy takes on the challenge of working as Miranda’s second assistant under Emily (Emily Blunt), the first assistant, who loves fashion body and soul, and works herself nearly to death to please Miranda, who shows no signs of ever being pleased by anyone or anything. Before you can say Valentino who has a delish guest appearance as himself), Andy has transformed herself into one of the “clackers” – the name given to the "Runway" employees whose stiletto heels clickety-clack across the marble lobby as they run to-and-fro doing Miranda’s endless bidding. Andy is a determined young girl, and as many idealistic young people just out of college, she throws herself body and soul into her first “real world” opportunity, nearly losing site of herself in the process.

The Devil Wears Prada is a relentlessly funny – and relentlessly sad – film. Streep humanizes Miranda, who is seen by her staff as the devil incarnate, showing us touches of the real woman beneath the designer clothes, and somehow imbuing an undercurrent of sadness and desperate loneliness beneath Miranda’s tough exterior. Miranda is a woman who wields a great deal of power, and knows it, but she also knows exactly what price she has paid to be at the top of the fashion game. Children, husbands, friends and personal life have all been sacrificed at the altar of fashion – but as Andy notes to her friends, if Miranda were a man, no one would even question that; they’d just admire how successful she was at her job.

Therein lies the truth buried deeply in the heart of Prada that I would have liked to have seen explored even more: the world of fashion and the world of professional careers exact a higher price from women than from men. The men (for the most part) design the impossibly high stiletto heels and haute couture that only looks good on you if you’re a size 4, and women starve themselves to be able to wear it. Men can work 80-hour-work weeks and travel around the globe for their jobs, but if a woman does the same, she’s neglecting her husband and family. A man can be a hard-nosed, demanding ass of a boss, so long as he’s great at what he does, and people will not only put up with it, but respect him for it. A woman like Miranda, on the other hand, is considered a “devil” for doing the same thing.

Feminist bitching and moaning aside, though, Prada is a wickedly fun movie. Streep couldn’t be more perfect as Miranda. According to the production notes, she was given a huge three-ring binder filled with information on the fashion biz, and not only absorbed that, but asked for more.

Anne Hathaway was a nice surprise. I actually enjoyed Hathaway in the Princess Diaries films (which, thanks to my pre-teen daughter, I’ve seen more times than I can count), but I wasn’t sure how I’d like her in a non-Disney flick. Thankfully, her role in Prada isn’t really a huge leap from The Princess Diaries; she’s once again the awkward, ugly duckling, morphed into a pretty princess with the help of a male helper (in this case, the delectable Stanley Tucci, who lends warmth and heart to what could have been a one-dimensional character). Andy loses her way on the surface, but at heart remains true to who she is, which is pretty much the character arc we’ve seen from Hathaway before, but her natural warmth and sincerity play nicely off of Streep’s icy aloofness.

Blunt, who previously won audiences’ hearts for her role in My Summer of Love, doesn’t disappoint in this turn. Blunt’s Emily is ruthless and passionate, jealous and conniving, as she should be, but underneath it all she reluctantly likes Andy. Adrian Grenier (Entourage) takes a supporting role this time around as Andy’s laid-back wannabe chef boyfriend Nate, who keeps her grounded.

This character, and in fact Andy’s relationship with him, was the one thing that kind of bugged me about the film. Nate works in the restaurant biz, which is notoriously just about as hardcore and demanding as the fashion industry, especially in New York. The hours are long and the work is hard. If anyone should appreciate the hours Andy has to work and her growing dedication to her job, you’d think it would be Nate, but perhaps he doesn’t aspire to the dedication required to be a world-class chef.

Overall, a clever script and some impressive performances make for a delicious haute couture ride. The Devil Wears Prada is fashionably fun summer fare. Guys might not enjoy the film as much as their girlfriends, but go along anyhow -- it'll give you ammo when you want her to go with you to see Superman Returns.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=14734&reviewer=417
originally posted: 06/28/06 04:22:38
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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
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
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  30-Jun-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 12-Dec-2006



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