Anne Hathaway stars as Andy, a bright young grad looking for her first break in journalism. As a last resort, she applies for a position at the uber-prestigious fashion magazine, Runway. She arrives for her interview woefully unaware that she is seeking employment under one of the most powerful women in the fashion industry. Though her dowdy schoolgirl outfit and unkempt hair indicate that she’s not exactly obsessed with style, The Devil a.k.a Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) takes a chance on the “smart, fat girl.” At size 6, Andy will be the tubbiest girl in the office, but Miranda’s tired of the silly girls who’ve come before her. With that, Andy is thrust into the cutthroat world of publishing, fashion, and Miranda.
Soon Andy’s entire life is consumed by Miranda’s demands: get me that piece of paper I was holding yesterday, make me a reservation at that restaurant with the good review, get me a copy of the next Harry Potter book, and by next, I do mean the one that isn’t out yet. With the help of Miranda’s first assistant, Emily (Emily Blunt), Andy rises to the challenge every time.
Does this win her points with Miranda? Nope. Miranda continues to dismiss her staff with a snippy, “that is all” and a wave of her hand. Bursting with frustration, Andy turns to Runway veteran Nigel (Stanley Tucci) to vent. Instead of receiving sympathy, Andy gets a wake up call—despite the thankless nature of her job, it is a highly coveted position, and it might help if Andy actually tried to play ball.
Here begins Andy’s transformation into Runway material. She revamps her wardrobe with the help of Nigel and the sample closet, gets her hair cut, and adopts a whole new attitude. Better yet, all of this happens to the tune of Madonna’s “Vogue”. How much fun is that?
From this point forward, Andy begins making strides at Runway. Miranda actually learns Andy’s name, and in her own icy way begins to respect her. Unfortunately, every step ahead at work means a step backward in Andy’s personal life. Her sweet, loyal boyfriend (Adrian Grenier) takes a backseat to Miranda’s demands, and her relationships with friends and family suffer as well.
Ultimately Andy becomes someone she never meant to be, stabbing Emily in the back, and shagging a nasty older man. I assume the older man bit demonstrates just how far she’s gone to the other side, but honestly, would any girl in her early 20’s look at Simon Baker’s character and start drooling? Andy passes up the chance to meet with his editor (something that might actually advance her career), then falls right into his slimy arms. Regardless of how charming he was in Something New, he comes across as downright smarmy in this movie. Also, I couldn’t stop staring at his weird eyebrows.
Of course Andy eventually redeems herself, and in standing up to Miranda, wins the Devil’s respect. I love that Andy comes head to head with her impossible boss only to find a real person underneath. The dynamics of their relationship seem true to life, and much can be learned from surviving a real-life Miranda Priestly.
I’m not a huge fan of Meryl Streep, but her performance in The Devil Wears Prada is easily my favorite. Finally a decisive, no-nonsense character to add to her resume! Though thoroughly convincing as an Ice Queen, she’s not so over-the-top as to be unbelievable as a real person. Anne Hathaway is relatable, but not stellar as Andy, Stanley Tucci is excellent, and Emily Blunt walks away with the movie. Though The Devil Wears Prada is as fun as an afternoon spent reading chick lit and listening to the radio, ultimately it’s about as meaningful.
The Devil Wears Prada has been re-released as a 10th Anniversary Edition. But be forewarned: You will get EXCALTY the same special features that you find on your old DVD. The only thing new in this re-packaged version is a code for a Digital HD version. If having a digital version is worth a re-purchase, go right ahead, but don’t buy this for the disc if you already have it.