The Devil Wears Prada

2007-02-16 16:46

Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) has a dream. Recently graduated from Brown University, she has moved to New York to start her world-changing career in journalism. Of course she needs a job first, and pickings are pretty slim. It’s either Auto Universe or Runway, the premier fashion magazine in the country, if not the world. So Andy toddles along for the interview with editor Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), little realising what she is getting herself into. Miranda is renowned for two things: her awesome power in the fashion world, and the pain she inflicts on her staff. Though Andy is, by Runway’s standards, overweight and completely without style, Miranda nonetheless decides to give “the smart, fat girl” a chance, instead of the “stylish, slender, disappointing type” she has fired so often. Andy is thrilled at first, but soon comes to regret the decision as Miranda heaps more and more impossible tasks on her.


The Devil Wears Prada is the kind of witty, endearing romp that is impossible to dislike. Despite the fact that the ugly-duckling-becomes-swan plot is overused, and the moral message – career girls are unhappy – is simplistic, the movie is stuffed too full of delights to miss.

At the top of the list is the superb cast. Though Meryl Streep needs no introduction, she is on particularly good form here. Her character, allegedly inspired by the fearsome Vogue editor Anna Wintour, could easily have been played as broad caricature. Instead Streep takes the high road, giving the character depth and credibility while still having a good deal of fun with the part. Her soft-spoken, permanently bored devil-boss is the comedic and dramatic lynch pin around which the movie turns.

At the other end of the scale is Anne Hathaway, as loveable as always, in yet another one of her Cinderella roles. Her performance is no less effective than Streep’s, it’s just a shame to see her back in the mould she seemed to have escaped with her brilliant turn in Brokeback Mountain. Still, watching her transform into a fashionista is extremely good fun and it’s hard to think of anyone as winsomely fresh-faced for the role.

The supporting cast are equally good, with Stanley Tucci stealing the show as a bitchy fashion guru named Nigel. Tucci is one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood, so it’s always a treat to see him on screen, particularly when he is obviously having so much fun with the part. Another face to look out for is gorgeous newcomer Adrian Grenier as Andy’s boyfriend Nate. He is making waves in the US with his leading role in TV’s Entourage and, to look at him, you can see why. He doesn’t do much in the way of acting here, but he looks set to become a huge star.

A feast both for fashionistas and those who despise the industry, the movie often comes across as an excuse to dress its winning cast in marvellous couture creations. Director David Frankel, who made such a success of TV’s Sex and the City, has cannily recruited his fashion guru on the show, Patricia Field, to oversee the costumes. And Field certainly rises to the occasion, slathering the film in galaxy of fabulous frocks, shoes, bags, coats, scarves and jewellery. And it’s all real, with garments from designers like Valentino, Donna Karan and Galiano, as well as Chanel’s latest couture collection.

However pretty and amusing it is, The Devil Wears Prada is never more than a set of delightful parts that add up to less than they should. When in full stride it’s a lot of fun to watch, particularly as Hathaway goes from frump to glamour girl, but as you near the finish you can’t help feel slightly disappointed. All the grown-up glamour distracts temporarily from the weakness of the plot, but in the end this is not much more than a bitchier version of The Princess Bride. And for a movie with such great dress sense, it sure doesn’t know how to leave a room.

- Alistair Fairweather
The Devil Wears Prada is more about playing dress-up than grown-up, but is still a lot of fun. And haven't we all had a boss from hell?

Mandy 2006/10/04 8:31 AM
The Adventures of Sebastian Cole Adrian Grenier is the lead in this brilliant and funny coming-of-age film made in the 90s, which was highly praised at Sundance. See if your video store has it. I'm happy he's starting to be noticed in the mainstream.
Rachel Georgia 2006/10/04 9:46 AM
The Devil wears Prada Another cinderella story in the new millennium, it makes us see that a job does chanfe people because they need to adapt, but the end is boring, predictable and doesn't quite fit in with the glamour and glitz.
Rachel Georgia 2006/10/04 9:47 AM
The Devil wears Prada Another cinderella story in the new millennium, it makes us see that a job does chanfe people because they need to adapt, but the end is boring, predictable and doesn't quite fit in with the glamour and glitz.
Tori 2006/10/04 3:51 PM
Disappointing I must say, I read the book a few weeks ago and saw the movie shortly afterwards (the joys of SE Asian pirated copies!). The book was far better, and so was its ending. Miranda was MUCH more scary in the book (she made me shake), and Andy wasn't nearly as pathetic as in the movie. She hates it all the way. My advice - read the book. It's brilliant.
Brenda de Bruyn 2006/10/08 11:11 AM
The Devil wears Prada Thoroughly enjoyable light entertainment. Meryl Streep absolutely outstanding in this role and stole the show, in my opinion. Soundtrack was great, but noise volume in Montecasino Cine 11 was overpowering and spoilt otherwise pleasurable viewing.
Hilary Dennis 2006/10/08 1:28 PM
The Devil Wears Prada Loved every minute - humour was never overplayed - and the fashion was sooo... divine, doll. If you're not into your name brands and serious glamour, don't try it. It's hell having to explain to your companion who Jimmy Choo is. Some people will just not get it.
Nats 2006/10/12 4:12 PM
The devil wears Prada The movie is great. Andy' job is my dream job. Watched the movie a couple of times. Excellent stuff. Meryl's acting outstanding, wonder if Anne or Meryl will ever appear in Vogue after this movie (Anna Wintour).
Kim 2006/10/13 5:03 PM
The Devil Wears Prada While I enjoyed the movie, I do feel that it didn't do the book any justice! It differed from the book in far too many aspects but suppose they captured the essence of the story. READ THE BOOK!!!!
Suzanne 2006/10/18 11:09 AM
The devil wears prada I enjoyed the movie somewhat, loved the quippy lines the supporting casted blasted across the screen and of course the fashion - lurved the outfits but come on the ending? give me a break - why can't women have it all?
Georgeio 2006/10/20 7:22 PM
Devil wear Prada Meryl streep is good in devil prada
moerida 2006/11/08 1:50 PM
The Devil wears Prada to me i'd give it a nine out of ten. The movie speaks to my age(25-35), it gives you the kind of storyline can be good at what you do and yet be yourself.The world might be cut-throught but if you clever, and witty enough, you can handle almost anything.A lady should never make compromises.Stick to what you believe cause thats what the caracter is telling us.Excellent Movie in my opinion.
Werner 2006/11/13 9:45 AM
Great!!! Its really a great movie! When I first saw the trailer, I thought by myself thst this was going to be one of those swan to princess films. Very good indeed.
sizwe 2006/11/27 11:52 PM
contarsting When I first saw the preview I really thought this was just a load of c.... After watching the movie I had a change of mind a very good movie and I am going to watch it again
Nico 2006/12/06 10:10 AM
Devil wears Prada Loved the movie. Watched it twice while flying across Africa.
Anthea 2006/12/09 8:19 AM
GREAT! Watched it.... Watched it again..... Can't wait for the DVD!
*** 2006/12/14 10:33 AM
The Devil Wears Prada I found it very entertaining. I think quite a few people can relate to this movie, considering how stressful most of our work environments are. We really don't realise how we become slaves to mgt sometimes and are in danger of losing ourselves in the corporate environment. This movie highlights that and shows us we always have choices.
KERRYN-JYD 2006/12/30 2:58 PM
ali 2007/02/24 12:18 PM
devil wears prada i loved the movie!
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