Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) lands a job in which she becomes the junior personal assistant to Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), the editor of the fashion magazine Runway. After she flounders in her role, she approaches Nigel (Stanley Tucci), an art director to teach her how to prosper in the bitchy and backstabbing world of fashion journalism. After she starts to wear the right clothes and fulfil the outlandish demands of Miranda, she starts to climb up the ranks in her new profession.
The Devil Wears Prada works on so many levels. As pure entertainment, it’s brilliant, darkly funny and strangely poignant in places.
But it also makes perceptive insights regarding the superficial, toxic world of high fashion. It will also resonate with anyone who has ever been part of any kind of unhealthy, dysfunctional workplace. I love how Andy states that she will only stay for a year and then leave but finds herself changing for the worse in her time there. Toxicity is contagious and spreads quickly if you don’t self-reflect and make a conscious decision to be better than that. This is depicted very well indeed by the film.
The Devil Wears Prada is also a fantastic insight into Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Miranda is the living personification of narcissism and is depicted amazingly well by Streep (although she’s always brilliant in whatever role she inhabits).
In fact, all of the performances are brilliant with real depth being brought to roles that could have been two-dimensional in lesser hands. Stanley Tucci does gay so well! His performance is the perfect answer to the new puritans who demand that gay actors should be the only ones to depict gay characters.
The character I loved the most was that of Emily Charlton, Miranda’s senior assistant as played by Emily Blunt. She is dripping with acerbic one-liners, sarcasm and dry wit. A lot of the original reviews singled out Blunt’s character and performance and deservedly so. She steals any scene she’s in.
The Devil Wears Prada is far from superficial and has a depth and nuance that wasn’t present in the original novel. And because of this, it’s fantastic. A sequel has been mooted for years now. I hope it comes to fruition.
4.5 stars out of 5