(Click here for Internet Movie Database entry)
I've never read the book written by Lauren Weisberger. But as you know, it is the story of an assistant to the editor-in-chief of a famous fashion magazine. Before writing the book, Weisberger worked as an assistant to Vogue magazine's editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour. Write what you know. That's what I always say. Anyway, like I said, I didn't read the book but I was attracted to the movie by the trailer, which is unusual in that it consists mostly of an actual series of scenes from early in the movie rather than a series of 2 second clips like most trailers. In the trailer for The Devil wears Prada, two of the supporting actors, Stanley Tucci and Emily Blunt, were so entertaining that I wanted to see the movie. The Devil wears Prada tells the story of a young, naive woman (Anne Hathaway) from the midwest who moves to New York City to be a journalist. But the only job she can get is as a second assistant to the editor-in-chief (Meryl Streep) of the world's biggest fashion magazine, "Runway", a fictionalized Vogue. Along with Streep's first assistant (Emily Blunt) and the magazine's second-in-command (Stanley Tucci), Hathaway starts to work 24/7 for the most demanding boss in the world. Hathaway starts out as a size 6, wearing jeans and a sweater, and slowly evolves into a very fashionable size 4, after a makeover and lots of free samples. As the demands of the job get worse and worse, Hathaway begins to detach from her boyfriend (Adrian Grenier) and her friends (Tracie Thoms & Rich Sommer). Hovering in the background to pick up the pieces is a hunky writer (Simon Baker).
The Devil wears Prada was a very pleasant surprise. I didn't really expect the entertaining trailer to translate into an entertaining movie but it did. The writing is crisp and funny. I laughed out loud several times. And the four leads, Streep, Hathaway, Blunt and Tucci make a great funny ensemble. For Blunt and Tucci this film is a tour de force. They are having so much fun with their roles that you can't help loving their characters. Meryl Streep comes in with a very high expectation level. After all, she is a god, and has received 13 Oscar nominations. She might get another one here. She does a fantastic job with what could have been a very one-dimensional character of the evil, controlling, domineering editor-in-chief. But she totally goes with the evil, controlling, domineering stuff while at the same time, somehow, showing that she is human too. Hathaway is good, and handles the metamorphosis from frump to fashionista very well, but she pales a bit next to the other three actors. I loved every minute of the back and forth between these four characters but the movie droops during the scenes involving her friends. First, the film doesn't give enough time to develop these characters beyond one dimension, and second, Adrian Grenier, as the boyfriend, is such an unlikable dick that I was rooting for the ne'r-do-well writer (Baker) to swoop in and save her.
The Devil wears Prada was directed by David Frankel who was one of the main directors of Sex in the City. This experience obviously has stood him in good stead. The Devil wears Prada has some of the je ne sais quoi of that TV show. This film shares with Sex and the City the theme of fashion as life which is very amusing. The Devil wears Prada moves along smartly and at 109 minutes it feels almost too short. There are no surprises in the plot and it all ends very predictably but who cares. This is a very fun summer movie. Go and see it.