The Devil Wears Prada
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E dir David Frankel
scr Aline Brosh McKenna
with Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, Adrian Grenier, Simon Baker, Tracie Thoms, Gisele Bundchen, Rich Sommer, Daniel Sunjata, David Marshall Grant, James Naughton
release US 30.Jun.06,
UK 5.Oct.06
06/US Fox 1h49

What are you wearing: Hathaway, Streep and Blunt

tucci grenier baker

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The Devil Wears Prada Anchored by a wonderfully diabolical performance by Meryl Streep, this lively comedy makes the most of its fluffy plot.

Just out of university, Andrea Sachs (Hathaway) is seeking a journalism career in New York when she lands a job as an assistant to the fearsome, powerful editor of Runway magazine, Miranda Priestly (Streep). The problem is that Andy has no fashion sense. But she's smart, learns quickly and, with the help of a couple of colleagues (Tucci and Blunt), she joins the ranks of the "clackers" rattling around in their Jimmy Choo heels. But her boyfriend (Grenier) isn't sure he likes the new Andy. And neither is she.

Based on Lauren Weisberger's fictional account of her experiences at Vogue, the story has a ring of truth about it, exaggerated for comic effect. The pretentious fashion snobs are hilarious and a little scary--they really do believe they're on the cutting edge of the universe, and that they're entitled to glamour and privilege. But they are actually so out of touch that it's almost breathtaking.

Streep is at her comical best: imperious, razor sharp and thoroughly oblivious. Miranda's monolog outlining the trickle-down fashion theory is pure genius. And when she lets Miranda's mask slip, she adds a human edge to the character that nearly takes our breath away, even if it threatens to tip the film into sentimentality.

Hathaway, meanwhile, is a superb foil. She's feisty and beautiful, without ever being overdone like the rest of the fashionistas. She sparks off Streep perfectly, and her scenes with Grenier are also loaded with chemistry. And then there's Tucci, the consummate scene-stealer somehow making his stereotypical character fresh and engaging.

The script captures this jarring parallel universe sharply, with vivid characters, clever details and some terrific one-liners ("I'm just one stomach flu from my goal weight"). Which is why it's such a pity that it never gets beneath the surface; the filmmakers are more interested in the corny coming-of-age/rom-com plot machinations to bother with much depth. But never mind. With this cast and such a fabulous sense of fashion, the film is very nearly a must-see.

cert PG adult themes 3.Aug.06

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... The Devil Wears Prada Donna R Carter, Wisconsin: "Unfortunately, I don't think I'll ever see Anne Hathaway in any role different than that she held in The Princess Diaries series. This movie was okay, but it was still very much a formula/teen movie. It was interesting, but I wasn't all that impressed. (But I can't say Simon Baker or Adrian Grenier are hard on the eyes.) Meryl Streep, although I thought her to be stooping to be in this movie at all, played her role to perfection. But would you expect any less of her?" (21.Aug.06)
2006 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall