Sunday, May 1, 2016

Movie Review: The Devil Wears Prada

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: The wonderful acting brings the characters to life; final few scenes
Cons: Familiar road the entire way through
The Bottom Line:
Nothing new plot wise
But the actors bring to life
Journey worth taking

Watch Who You Become

Yes, when it came out, I wrote The Devil Wears Prada off as a chick flick.  And yet, a part of me was always curious about it, so when I caught a chance to watch it on TV, I decided that was the way to go.  I’m glad I did because I did enjoy it.

Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) is a new journalism graduate who is hoping to start her career in New York City.  She lands a job at the fashion magazine Runway as the second assistant to Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), the woman who not only runs the magazine but wields her power over much of the fashion industry itself.

However, Andy isn’t necessarily suited for the job.  Her fashion sense is definitely lacking, and she knows little of what Miranda asks of her.  Can she keep the job?  And what effect might the long demanding hours have on her relationships with her friends and her boyfriend?

Honestly, this is a very familiar story.  You’ve got the na├»ve newbie and the powerful mentor who has seen it all and demands perfection.  But that doesn’t keep you from rooting for Andy.  As someone who has gotten new jobs recently, I felt sorry for Andy since she appeared to get so little training.  It was easy to root for her to figure things out and start to impress her new, demanding boss.  Of course, we do get to see the other side as her friends get very tired of her constantly changing plans for her job.  And it especially wears on her relationship with her boyfriend.

As I said, this is a familiar story.  The result found me wanting Andy to figure out a way to balance both her personal life and her new job.  The character is very likable and easy to root for, which gets us through a lot.

This was important to me since I’m a guy.  Fashion?  Forget about it.  I couldn’t have cared less about that aspect of the story, but of course it was just the setting that holds the rest of it together.

What really impressed me were some scenes near the end.  We get to see both sides of this coin as Miranda gives Andy a couple of peaks into her life.  Instead of being preachy, they come across as honest, which is so hard hitting it is impossible to turn away.

The acting propels us through the early parts and gets us to the payoff with no issues at all.  Meryl Streep is absolutely outstanding in the lead.  She makes Miranda much more complex than she appears from the very beginning.  In lesser hands, the final scenes wouldn’t have felt real because we wouldn’t have cared about the character.  Meanwhile, Anne Hathaway holds her own and really makes us care about Andy, which makes the entire journey worth taking.  The two leads are surrounded by a great supporting cast that includes Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, and Simon Baker.  These actors make their characters stand out no matter how big or small their parts on screen are.

I’m glad I took advantage of the TV to watch The Devil Wears Prada.  While it doesn’t break any new ground, the trip is well worth taking again with this cast playing these characters.

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