A drab college girl lands a job at a high fashion magazine, assisting its fearsome editor. Superior chick-lit adaptation starring Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci
The Devil Wears Prada could be subtitled 'Or How I Learnt To Love Elite Consumerism And Realised My College Idealism Was Naïve'. Don't think Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster as a press agent and columnist, brothers in amorality, in 1957's Sweet Smell Of Success. Instead, think Michael J Fox's yomping up the corporate ladder in 1980s yuppie affirmation film The Secret Of My Success
Despite rumours that Meryl Streep's ice queen editor Miranda Priestly would offer media insiders the delicious prospect of a satire of Vogue legend Anna 'Nuclear' Wintour, you come away from Devil Wears Prada with the impression that the people who work in the fashion industry are doing important work at considerable self-sacrifice. But there are some must-have luxuries here, first of which is Meryl Streep's fascinating performance as the fearsome Miranda Priestly.
Unlike Anna Wintour, Priestly's eyes are rarely concealed by sunglasses, Streep instead choosing a variety of clear frames to wield the icicles of her gaze. Her tone is a weary sing-song, exhausted by the incompetence of the human race.
Next off the shelf is Anne Hathaway as the drab college girl Andy, who Priestly recruits on a whim: "Take a chance. Hire the smart fat girl." Andy has "no style, no sense of fashion" and has somewhat inadvertently landed a job a million girls would kill for. Back home, her old college beau and friends are at first amused by the incongruity of her working for Runway magazine. But when Andy slowly transforms herself into a fashionista, her personal life is sacrificed so that she can succeed at work. She even misses her boyfriend's birthday - the bitch!
If Andy dumps her bloke and her mates, it's only because they are so dull. The wattage of this movie dims the moment Priestly and her camp art director Nigel, played by Stanley Tucci, are off-screen. While Nigel and Miranda start off as bitch queens, both are shown to have a soft side by the end of the film. And that's about it, really. There is some suggestion that Andy might have to make a difficult moral decision to stitch up her workmate Emily (Emily Blunt), but a fortuitous car accident robs us of that minor moment of moral questioning.
Meryl Streep is fierce as nightmare boss Miranda Priestly, in this frothy, funny, fashion industry rom-com.