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Title: The Devil Wears Prada
Screenwriter: Aline Brosh McKenna
Director: David Frankel
Distribution Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: June 30, 2006
Running Time: 109 minutes
Synopsis: A smart but sensible new graduate lands a job as an assistant to Miranda Priestly, the demanding editor-in-chief of a high fashion magazine.
With Friends Like These
Can we talk about how Andy has terrible friends? So your friend hooks you up with FREE stuff, like a Jetsons cordless phone or a not-even available Marc Jacobs bag that you practically tongue down on site. To thank your friend for such an AMAZING hook up, when her boss from said job that gave her the opportunity to hook you up with FREE stuff calls, you proceed to snatch the phone out of her hand and play a game of Keep Away. When she rightly calls you an A-hole, you look surprised about all that justified animosity. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!
Then…your super busy friend, who is getting her butt kicked as the personal gopher to one of the most important people in the magazine world, takes the time (when she would rather catch up on some much-needed sleep) to attend your art exhibit. To thank your friend for coming to support you on your big night, you make a big deal about seeing some random guy flirt with her just because she has a boyfriend. I’m sorry, was she making out with this guy in the middle of your art exhibit OR did she make a scene by physically mounting him just to take the attention away from you? Oh, she didn’t? Then what is your problem?! YES! Your friend is taking her new gig in the fashion industry seriously and dressing the part because she wants to do a good job, so she can have a decent recommendation when she moves on to her next endeavor. It’s called growing up and being a freaking professional! You don’t recognize the Andy you’ve know for the last 16 years? That’s because she’s in the real world now. Maybe you should join her.
And don’t think I forgot about you Nate! Your girlfriend is busy doing her job and something came up at the last-minute. So…no, she wasn’t able to make your birthday party. Get over it! How do you even have time to celebrate your birthday anyway?! You are a chef in New York City…you know, the city that never sleeps. Shouldn’t you be in the kitchen mincing garlic or searing steaks or julienning peppers or whatever the heck kitchen staff does? Restaurants are always open and chefs hardly ever get time off, so how are you even around to notice how busy Andy is? You should be even busier than she is. My goodness, the best friend that Andy has is Doug, and he is just some random dude they threw in the movie to turn that friendship triangle into a square.
It’s Faux Fiction
Wow! I’m pretty sure the only thing this movie kept from the book was the title. Okay, okay…they did keep some of the characters, like Andy and Miranda (because you wouldn’t have a movie without them) and Emily. But my goodness, they changed Alex’s name to Nate, Lily was a completely different person, and they added random friend Doug to the group. Was he supposed to be a re-imagination of the guy in the book who was Lily’s ex-boyfriend and worked in the same building as Andy? Who knows…le sigh!
Let’s start with Lily. In the book, she was in graduate school studying Russian literature with a specialty in alcoholism. Can you believe she actually encouraged Andy to take things further with Christian even though she was in a relationship with Alex?! Book Lily thought Andy and Alex were way too young to be settling down, and that’s probably the smartest thing she said in the entire book. Book Lily definitely wasn’t the condescending friend who made Andy feel bad for succeeding at her job. I prefer the Lily who drank, partied, and basically flunked out of grad school.
Ugh…what in the world did they do to Miranda Priestly?! Don’t get me wrong, Meryl Streep is a wonderful actress, but this Miranda is not Miranda. Miranda Priestly is of Jewish descent who left home at 18 because she had ambitions that her family just didn’t understand. She is also in a very loving marriage with a husband who understands and respects the demands of her job. In the book, Miranda does whatever she can to please her husband…even going as far as to plan an engagement party for her brother-in-law who she sees as an unsophisticated and uncouth hick. But why present a fresh take on the inner workings of marriage for a powerful woman? No, it’s so much easier to go with the tired cliché of the power-hungry man-eater who can’t keep a husband because she only knows how to put her career first. Obviously, there is no husband who could handle such a blow to his fragile male ego. I think it would have been interesting to present the woman who is the task master at work, but also gets to have it all with a husband and children who adore her. Now that is a woman worth hating!
This used to be a pretty enjoyable movie for me because I thought of it as an homage to fashion. It will always delight my inner fashionista because even 10 years later, the wardrobe is still CLASSIC. However, after reading the book and knowing the true story, I will have to wait a while before I give this movie another go.
The Final Grade
Burnt Popcorn: Could you expect anything else after that rant? Turning Miranda into a conniving backstabber in order to make her a true villain is so unnecessary. The source material provided plenty to get that point across. Even the way Andy quits is better in the book. What’s better than saying a big F U to the boss who just made the last few months of your life a living hell. Then getting a writing job on your own terms because of that epic meltdown.
So…did reading the book change your opinion on the movie? Do you think Andy’s friends were the worst? Which versions of Lily and Miranda do you prefer? How long would you have survived as Miranda Priestly’s assistant? Let us know in the comments! |RL
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I’m Katisha, the wizard behind Reel Literature. As a longtime book nerd, I hate to see an amazing book spoiled by a lackluster movie. Join me as I read the books that have definitely been watered down and most likely ruined by Hollywood. With a lot of humor and a little snark, I share my thoughts on all things books and the movies they inspire. Find me in these internet streets on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.