Soulful "Devil Wears Prada"

July 4, 2006, midnight | By Iliya Smithka | 17 years, 7 months ago

Chick lit exceeds as chick flick

Post-college jobs usually range from the tediously clerical to the simply nitty-gritty – and all pay miserably. That's why Andrea Sachs is only too happy when she gets a call to work at "Runway," a fashion magazine, after weeks of dropping résumés off at magazines all over New York. But the job "a million girls would die for" is an assistant position under the infamously unreasonable editor-in-chief. Andy must deal with her demanding boss and the effect her job has on her social life in the successfully adapted film, "The Devil Wears Prada."

Based on the best-selling book by Lauren Weisberger, the new movie stars doe-eyed Anne Hathaway as Andy, the aspiring journalist, and a wicked Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly, the evil but elegant editor. Though the movie takes some turns away from the book, the movie's tweaks to the plot and characters are resolved well.

Although it doesn't stay true to the book at times, the movie still manages to catch the spirit of the book perfectly. Hathaway undergoes a transformation much like the one in "The Princess Diaries" and still manages to keep Andy's ignorance about fashion fresh.

In addition to a lively performance by Hathaway, Streep captures Miranda's brusque manner toward her employees perfectly. She captures Miranda's unreasonable attitude masterfully and becomes a dominating presence among her staff. After listing her demands to Andy, whom she unabashedly calls Emily for half of the movie, Miranda says in her quiet, superior way, "That's all" while Andy stumbles over a follow-up question.

Although Andy has to suffer through Miranda's constant demands, it is the general consensus that the pain is worth the gain. Nigel (Stanley Tucci), Andy's only friend, tells her, "It's not just a magazine – it's a shining beacon of hope" for people who want to be a part of the high-end fashion scene.

Just as Andy discovers how the fashion industry operates at the most well-dressed level, her relationships with her friends and family deteriorate. Her work for the "notorious sadist, and not the good kind" forces her to choose between her family and her job, which in becomes an important theme in the film. Miranda assures Andy, "Everybody wants this. Everybody wants to be us." But in the end, she must decide whether to sell her soul for Prada.

"The Devil Wears Prada" is 106 minutes long, rated PG-13 for some sensuality and now playing at area theaters.

Iliya Smithka. Iliya Smithka will graduate from neither the CAP nor the Magnet Program. However, she somehow managed to get a decent education. While representing no particular program during her stint on Silver Chips Online, Iliya was a spectacular staff writer, although she never really mastered the … More »

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