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The Devil Wears Prada /

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci, Emily Blunt, Tracie Thoms

Directed by: David Frankel

Produced by: Wendy Finerman

Written by: Aline Brosh McKenna

Distributor: 20th Century Fox


     The Devil Wears Prada may have been directed and marketed with pop-culture and artificial-sweetener in mind, but it was written and performed with such snarky conviction that it will have the rare ability to appeal to both bubble-gum-popping teeny-boppers and critical cineastes alike. The movie stars the surprisingly (and finally!) terrific Anne Hathaway as Andy Sachs, a young just-out-of-school journalist who finds a job working for the editor-in-chief of the hip fashion magazine Runway, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). Andy has no knowledge what’s fab and what’s drab as euphemisms would say. Miranda’s elitist views of style and glamour mixed with unmistakably business-savvy shock her new assistant. However, in an off-kilter presentation of the traditional good-girl-gone-bad mold, Andy is soon inevitably sucked into the vapid world of the commercial fashion industry, instantly coming to disregard all of her previous passions in the pursuit of perfection in her new career.

     As I hinted before, the film is assembled in much the same way that a mindless ‘tween-targeted flick is; it is set to pop-music and is the bearer of brightly colored sets and numerous energetic montages. However, instead of becoming irritating, director David Frankel’s seemingly overindulgent style works due to its ability to reflect the writer and cast’s display of the superficiality found within the industry of the film’s focus.

     In addition to the lovely and identifiable Hathaway, Streep is also terrific as the devious big-head Miranda in a supporting performance that will deserve serious consideration come Oscar time. Miranda’s overbearing behavior is often amusing, but never ceases to be totally believable. Streep mixes Corporate-Mentality and Tacky-Middle-Aged-Woman-Mannerisms to create a character that seems so horrifyingly familiar that the viewer is forced to respond to her in a way that is primarily expressive of biting hilarity. Screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna also deserves credit for the film’s overall ingenuity, in an adaptation of the source-novel by Lauren Weisberger.

     Up until its final act, The Devil Wears Prada is actually pretty great. In a genre full of projects that lack any trace of wit, its blend quirkiness and realism deserves recognition. Unfortunately, its conclusion is far too syrupy for its own good and robs the movie of the gusto displayed during the majority of its run-time. (I should note, however, that all throughout the film, I noticed an abundance of strange continuity errors). Still, the film’s weak finish proves to be only minutely disappointing due to the true brilliance found in both Hathaway and Streep’s performances. Because of their inspired work, The Devil Wears Prada consistently remains both involving and insightful.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews (7.16.2006)

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