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The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Reviewed on 2007 September 4

Since the devil is supposed to have the power to assume a pleasing form, has anyone given any thought to have someone like Meryl Streep actually play Satan in a movie? Think about it, people. She already came close here.

Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) is a college graduate who lands a job that’s the stuff of dreams and nightmares: she’s an assistant to Luci… I mean, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). Miranda is the dragon-in-chief of Runway magazine, the type of glossy publication whose sole purpose seems to be reminding you of how good you'll never look, but you should really put down that slice of bread and try, dear. To give you an indication of the mindset here, Andy is roundly considered “fat” and dowdy by the fashionistas at this canto. (At this point, I think if I had wandered in there, the world would be a changed place. I’d show up in sweats and a tank top, and their heads would explode. Then I’d take over.) Andy can’t seem to please the abusive Miranda, who faults her assistants for things like the weather. She doesn’t get any help from her co-workers, a bunch of hair gel fascists who scream at you for not recognizing a particular shade of blue. Oh, there’s Emily (the hilarious Emily Blunt), who shows Andy the ropes just because if Andy succeeds it will benefit her, but getting help from her is like gnawing off your own leg to get out of a trap.

Andy’s a a pariah to these cellophane people because she’s a size 6, her hair isn’t stick straight and she (gasp!) likes food. Some of the latter sin can be blamed on her chef boyfriend Nate (Adrian Grenier), who provides insight, comfort, and real grilled cheese sandwiches made with Jarlsberg. The one thing Nate lacks (in my opinion, lots of people don’t agree here and it’s a bone of contention among those who’ve seen this) is perspective. Neither Nate nor Andy’s friends can understand why Andy is focusing her time and energy on this place, even though Miranda threatens to make or break her here and elsewhere.

The dialogue and acting in this movie are good and brittle, but we can pretty much predict the outcome of this from the first mouthful of Jarlsberg that Nate feeds Andy. It’s still a fun ride for 109 minutes, and the fact that a pretty person like Anne Hathaway can be considered “plain” by this crew should be comforting perspective for the rest of us. And Meryl Streep was very good as Miranda, making me flash on some of my bosses.

Two chocolate morsels, and either a cold beer or a crystal glass of mineral water with a slice of out-of-season fruit on the lip, depending on who’s side you’re on.


morsel morsel

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