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Movie Review

The Devil Wears Prada

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sensuality.

Reviewed by: Misty Wagner
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Teens
Genre:
Comedy Drama
Length:
1 hr. 46 min.
Year of Release:
2006
USA Release:
June 30, 2006 (wide)
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures

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Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.
Featuring: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Anthony Anderson, Emily Blunt, Simon Baker, Adrian Grenier, Stanley Tucci, Tracie Thoms
Director: David Frankel—“Collateral Beauty” (2016), “Hope Springs” (2012), “Marley and Me” (2008)
Producer: Joseph M. Caracciolo Jr., Wendy Finerman, Carla Hacken, Karen Rosenfelt
Distributor: Fox 2000 Pictures

A graduate of Northwestern and a passionate liberal, motivated in human interest causes and things like journalistic integrity, Andrea Sachs (Anne Hathaway) finds herself having to pursue a position at “Runway” (which is THE fashion magazine for the industry). Happy running about in oversized cable-knit sweaters, loafers and using balmy lip gloss as her primary make-up staple, Andrea (whom her friends call Andy) finds her self just as surprised as her fashion devoted future co-workers when she is accepted to fill the position of second assistant to Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), Runway’s editor in Chief.

It takes Andy all of a few minutes to realize that Miranda is intensely feared by everyone who works for the magazine and that her every breath and command is enough to send waves of panic throughout the office. The primary storyline is that of Andy’s experience working at “Runway” as Miranda’s slave, at first and actual assistant later in the film. It does not take long before Andy realizes she will have to prioritize fashion into her own life and change how she views the industry, in order for her job to work out. Andy believes a year at this job is a necessary “step” towards a career in journalism.

With an air of condescension directed towards the fashion industry, portraying it as both shallow and obsessive—the film paints an accurate portrayal of a person so caught up in the “process” of achieving their goals that they end up sacrificing so much of themselves along the way. Throughout the story we see Andy’s personal life crumble, and at one point as she has an emotional “moment” with co-worker Nigel (Tucci), he goes so far as to point out to her that she will know her career has really made it when her personal life completely falls apart. Though this story may focus on Andy’s relationship with her boss, it is more a visual example of how easily we can veer off course—even with the best of intentions.

The quality of the film surprised me. Having read the novel years ago, I admit I expected something quite different and shallower. The one disappointment, for fans of the novel, is the absence of many of the truly outrageous things that Andy does in the name of her job. In all honesty though, I think I am more a fan of this poignant version of the story; trimmed down and to the point. The cinematography is incredible more often then not. With captivating shots of New York City and Paris, as well as grittier scenes during the more emotionally raw moments, the movie maintains a level of energy that many films visually don’t seem to bother with.

The acting is superbly done, offering its audience well developed characters and opportunities for the viewers to feel empathetic not only for Andy and her difficult job, but even for Miranda the “evil” boss. Though in the film only a small amount of times, Nate (Adrian Genier who plays Andrea’s live-in boyfriend), offers a much deeper role than many may take from this movie. Silently supportive and worried, yet unconditionally accepting, he proved to be the most stable character in Andy’s immediate life. I found myself often caught up in the scenes where he and Andy were together. Their chemistry was well cast and these moments added a thread of reality to this otherwise outrageous fairy tale of the naïve heroine and her wicked witch.

With Nate and Andy living together, it is obviously implied that they have sexual relations. That being said, there is nothing about their relationship that is blatant or outright offensive. In the few scenes where they are affectionate, it is very modest and tastefully done. While broken up with Nate, Andy does get drunk and have a one night stand with a character who pursues her throughout the course of the film. Again, this is tastefully done and I think important to the story line, if for no other reason than to show Andy how much she has changed since working at “Runway”.

Despite the film dealing a lot with the fashion industry, the wardrobe is pretty modest. The language in the film is fairly mild. There are a few profane words, but I think the more potentially damaging words spoken could be one of the very few brief conversations where size, dieting, anorexia and the need to be skinny were had. They were in no way promoting starvation; it was probably more or less poking fun at this sad reality. Still, to young girls who are caught up in this way of thinking, it could be some Hollywood-style confirmation.

Overall, I was surprised to enjoy this movie as much as I did. Though not evident until the end, there is a definite theme of redemption woven throughout this story. At one point, when Andy points out to Miranda how she sacrifices people to protect herself, Miranda illuminates the truth to Andy that she too has done the same. This story offers us the rare opportunity to look at how we as Christians judge and empathize with others. When looking at the sin of one person, do we automatically view it the same as we would if perhaps someone nicer, or more likable were doing the same thing?

There are so many things one could take away from this story—the ideas of self worth, how we see ourselves and what we consider beauty; how far should we go for what we believe to be the greater good; and ultimately what defines us? Is it career? Family? How we look? What we eat? Who we serve?

“The Devil Wears Prada” seems to touch on all of the qualities that make a movie great: Well done, modest, funny, moving, relatable, fantastic soundtrack and, for most of us girls, full of fabulous fashionable accessories to drool over.

Violence: None / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Minor


Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—This was a good movie except for a few things. The first thing you see when the movie begins is a woman in her bra getting dressed. I wasn’t expecting the movie to begin this way. Their is one scene that makes a hint that the 2 main characters had sex together. The guy says, “I know something we can do that does’t require any clothing.” I thought that was inappropriate. Other than that, just a few words here and there (language). I thought it was a good movie for older teens or adults. I wouldn’t take a young child to see this movie. For older teens or adults, it was a great comedy and very entertaining.
My Ratings: Average / 3
—Lauren, age 21
Positive—I have always enjoyed Anne Hathaway. She’s a pretty, wholesome-looking actress. She and Meryl Streep did a good job portraying their characters in this film. The basic plot upheld the moral virtues of being true to yourself, faithful to your friends and family, and faithful to God’s calling for your life (although He was never mentioned or alluded to in this film). The drawback is that Anne’s character (her name slips my mind) is living with her boyfriend out of wedlock and has a spontaneous one-night sleepover with another man. All-in-all, the moral content of this movie was average for these times. At least her betrayal of her boyfriend was cast in a negative light. Maybe that makes the moral content of this film above-average for these times. I saw this movie with my 19-year old daughter, and we both enjoyed it.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Kim, age 42
Positive—The story line was very good and well done. It really dealt with something that was very key and enlightening, and that was choices. Will we choose to blend in or be different. The same challenge is there for Christians will we blend in with the world in our dress, actions, what we eat and who we hang out with? Or will we take a stand? Will we be blinded and driven by success and being popular? This movie deals with all that and has a comical side to it as well. It’s more of a girl movie, and my wife talked me into going, but I enjoyed it and recommend it. It was good and clean. Yes, there were some moral issues, but they were true to life and not the focus of this movie. …
My Ratings: Good / 4
—Dwayne, age 49
Positive—It is hard to find a movie from Hollywood that is completely acceptable to Christians. I found this movie quite close. I found only a very few unacceptable words and the only problem was Anne Hattaway’s living status. She, of course, lived with her boyfriend, but that was not highlighted; and was not celebrated in any way.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Bruce Jensen, age 59
Positive—This was a great “ladies” movie. I say that because I feel like guys would get bored with the clothes, purses, etc. I was not bored at all. Meryl S. and A. Hathaway were perfect choices for the characters, and the story was a good one. There are plenty of laughs and a tear-up or two moments. Really worth seeing. As a Christian, I would hate seeing Andrea shacked up with her boyfriend, and then having a one night stand, but there were NO sex scenes at all. The language was very mild with one or two the whole movie. I can easily bring my daughter to see this film. It has a wonderful moral in the end. Clean, well made, good actors and good story.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Paula B., age 38
Positive—Great film! Meryl Streep was excellent, and worthy of another Oscar. It was a “chick flick” that guys could enjoy as well. I really liked it, and I will probably go see it again. There wasn’t much objectionable material here, which was refreshing, and I’d even recommend it to the under 13 crowd. Go see it!
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Adam Renkovish, age 24
Positive—This is an entertaining film. It isn’t an all out comedy and actually has some serious moments. Older teens might enjoy this film, but it’s not for children in any way. I really enjoyed Meryl Streep’s performance.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Sarah Modisett Lee, age 41
Positive—This was an interesting, well told story about how seductive career, prestige, fame etc. can be. You watch a woman who has such noble career aspirations get “lost” in the sea of the superficial, amoral fashion world. Almost every character is flawed in some way—mean, unforgiving, rude, self-centered. The primary character gets swept up into it, and while she does retain much of her character, she also loses quite a bit by stabbing a coworker in the back and having an affair on her boyfriend. It is an interesting portrayal of a woman who travels the journey of finding who she is and what she believes in.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Kim Cummings, age 37
Positive—I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and thought that it was funny and redeeming in quality. I have read the book, but I thought that the movie did something the book failed to do: it portrayed a very human side to Miranda Priestly’s character. I actually LIKED the Priestly of this movie—and even felt very sympathetic towards her person. I guess the point that Andrea makes holds true, that if Miranda Priestly were a man, no one would care about her rudeness or her inability to hold up relationships—she’d just be doing her job. It is a very sad fact of today’s society that women who want to get ahead in their careers must sacrifice a personal life to do so. Obviously things haven’t changed completely for women and I thought that this movie, on a deeper level, brought that out. Sexism is subtle in modern society.

All in all, I recommend that everyone go see it. Even guys may enjoy this film. I know I did.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Cornelius Christian, age 18
Positive—I really did enjoy the movie. I do not feel it is appropriate for young teenagers or tweens. The young women is living with her boyfriend the entire movie. They are obviously intimate with each other. They break up with each other and within 3 days she had a one night stand with a man twice her age. Then she goes back to her boyfriend, and the movie implies that she does not admit to her indiscretion.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4
—Diane Rose, age 43
Positive—I took my mom to go see this. This movie is excellent for a “girls night out.” The acting is superb. You do get the idea that Meryl Streep is supposed to be a “mean boss,” but they don’t really show how bosses can really be. She is rude, but they don’t really show a lot of the “crude” side of her (but you get the idea by everyone’s reaction to her). Anne Hathaway is a young girl trying to figure out life and make her way in this world. She figures this out with the help of one of the male fashion designers. The male fashion designer gives you the idea that he is gay, but it is never said and is never developed any further than just his mannerisms. He is very likeable and reminds you as a Christian to love the sinner, but hate the sin. The clothes in the film are phenomenal, but the music tends to be loud and obnoxious. Scenes of New York reminded me of why I loved that city. The movie ends on a most unlikely positive note, but satisfies.

On a personal level, I translated a lot of Anne Hathaway’s life to my life as a Christian. Your struggle for change and the people closest to you present the most resistance to that change. What didn’t translate into a Christian life is the ending. She sees the result of the world in which she lives and decides that it’s not a good way to end up. And walks away.
My Ratings: Average / 5
—Dawn, age 34
Positive—Fun fluff. Nothing too risque.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Dana, age 21
Neutral
Neutral—This was a fairly amusing movie to watch, with a few laughs, but not as many as I had expected. I found Meryl Streep’s character very two dimensional and not real at all. A caricature of a tyrannical boss. The only character truly fleshed out was the lead character, played by Anne Hathaway, and done very very well. Everyone else was a stock figure. And unfortunately, for this preppy wholesome woman to be living with a scruffy boyfriend with whom she is obviously having an affair and for some inexplicable reason really loves, gives the movie a really immoral taint to it, which glared at me throughout the entire movie. Very little morality, although in the end, the message of being true to oneself, even at the expense of employment, is loud and clear.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4
Halyna Barannik, age 60
Negative
Negative—Going to see this movie has finally made me realize that the movie theatre is not the place for me to be anymore. And it didn’t take long either. I don’t know if they show different previews in different countries before the movie, but here in Canada, they were showing a preview for a different film called “John Tucker Must Die”… and it was an absolutely filthy preview. So even though “The Devil Wears Prada” was reported here on Christian Spotlight not to be too offensive, what difference does it make when you have to sit there and watch smut before the film even begins? But even after that, the actual movie was dishonoring to God as well. The sexual themes, the innuendos, the disgraceful use of our Redeemer’s precious name, the list goes on. I can no longer judge a movie by its offensiveness in relation to other movies. “The Devil Wears Prada” was a relatively clean movie. But relatively clean is not clean at all. Just like relatively sinless is not sinless at all. A highly offensive movie is dishonoring to God. And a slightly offensive movie is also dishonoring to God. How can I go to remember my Lord on Sunday when I paid to hear his name disgraced on Thursday? As for me and my own, we will serve Jehovah.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4
—Genna, age 21
Negative—I went to this movie thinking it would be a good lighthearted comedy, but I was sorely disappointed. This movie is not like the Anne Hathaway movies like “Princess Diaries” or “Ella Enchanted”. I would strongly advise parents and teens to stay away from this movie for several reasons. 1. Anne Hathaway’s character is living and sleeping with her boyfriend. 2. During the opening sequence and in one other seen women are seen in their bras and putting on underwear, often being a close up on their chests. 3. The warped view of women and a “good” lifestyle presented to viewers. a) One character talks about size zero being the new 2, 2 being the new 6, and 6 being the new 14. b) Anne’s character is encouraged to change to be more like the others including losing weight to be a size 4 (she was only a size 6 when she started working there, and she was called fat). c) Anne’s character also sleeps with a fashion writer.

There are some good messages but they can be gotten elsewhere without the objectionable content of this movie. Anne does make the right decision at the end but it should have come sooner. I found it difficult to like her because of the behavior she exhibits and the ease with which she accepts the new “fashionable” lifestyle. The movie also shows that sacrificing family happens when the job is more important than anything else. I also was offended by the movies idea of proper clothing sizes because I am definitely not a size 6 and most girls are not either. To me this movie will make healthy girls who are larger than a 4 or 6 feel bad about their weight and come away with a distorted view of what true beauty is. I cannot recommend this movie for any reason. I hope that my review will encourage parents and teens to steer clear of this film. The content does not deserve an R-rating, but it should not be viewed by 13-15 year olds.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3
—Laura N., age 19
Negative—It was very sexually inapropriate.
My Ratings: Average / 3
—Allison, age 18
Negative—One of the most important criteria by which I judge whether or not I will watch a movie is any use of God’s name with disrespect. In “The Devil Wears Prada” one character says, “For Christ’s sake… ” She was not talking about Him in the sentence but was using the name of Christ as a slang word. Another character several times says, “Oh God… ” as slang. Another character thanks “God” that the main actress is out of excuses to say No to having sex. I feel sad just writing this. Imagine how our Lord must feel.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality:
—Myra, age 54 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—I loved this movie sooo much. Anna Hathaway is perfect for this. I would recommend this movie to anyone who is mature enough to handle a girl living with a man and sleeping with him. (you don’t see anything). I would not recommend it to a younger boy, because it has bra and panty shots at the opening.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Rachel, age 13
Positive—I really enjoyed this movie. I went with my friends one afternoon just because we had nothing better to do, and I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. Don’t expect to see “The Princess Diaries”, this movie is a lot more grown-up. A lot of critics say that the film says that the fashion world is inherently evil, and it made Andy betray her friends. I don’t think that’s what it’s about at all—the scene where Miranda explains the origin of Andy’s cerulean blue sweater is one of the best—I think it’s more about how you justify your choices and priorities. Miranda and Andy both betrayed someone because they didn’t want to get fired. Yet we empathize with Andy… why? Meryl Streep’s performance is subtly brilliant, and even though you can’t like her, you laugh as she moves across the screen like a glacier.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Rosie, age 16
Positive—A fun movie with very little offensive material to distract. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
My Ratings: Average / 5
—Christina, age 17
Neutral—I saw this movie, and I thought it was good. There was a lot of swearing, but not overwhelming. Although there was premarital sex, you never saw anything. You never even see anyone in bed together. What the main character learns in this film is that she should alwyas put others before herself and her job. I think that is a good moral teaching. She learns that even the most unlikable people have some good in them. My mom always tells me that when you meet a person you don’t like, it strengthens your love muscles. However, this movie contains sexual language and inappropriate clothing(during the fashion show and other fashion show items). Along with that, at the beginning of the movie, it show a bunch of skinny, pretty, girls getting dressed in the morning. This is something I think they could have left out of the movie as it is not relevant to any of the story. The movie itself was a good one, yet I would only recommend it to a select amount of people. It is one that I enjoyed and I’m glad I saw it, but I would not want to see it again.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Sarah, age 14
Positive—I loved this movie. It’s a great light-hearted movie for people who love fashion. There were some minor negativities. At the start you see women in their bras and panties. Also the main character (played by Hathaway) lives with her boyfriend, and then after they are broken-up she sleeps with another man. But all these things aren’t too offensive because they don’t take a front-seat in the movie. Overall, this is a great movie that creates great fashion and great laughs!
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Bailey Massenburg, age 15
Positive—This movie is very interesting. Every once in a while it gets boring, but it has a really good story line to it. Anne Hathaway did one of her best acting roles yet! I highly recomend it.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Lindi, age 13
Neutral—Besides the fact that Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway have cute out-of-acting and in-the-acting personalities, and that they are both some of my favorite female actresses, the movie all-in-all was boring. I find the runway industry boring, and the whole movie’s sense of the fashion industry boring as well. …the movie started, for me, very very slow, nothing exciting was happening. I was waiting and waiting for something good to come, but I don’t think anything very exciting happened. Yes, a couple of sequences, I did get feeling for characters, especially anger for Meryl Streep’s character. But besides the good acting and two of my favorite actresses starring in this movie (and very cute clothes were worn) this movie was bad in the sense of boring. If your’re all about the fashion and runway industry than, okay, go see it, but if you are someone who is more of the actiony, scary, or even just good movie type of person, than I advise you to stay away.
My Ratings: Good / 4
—Lacey, age 14
Positive—This was a great movie, not bad at all! Well, there were a few spots of “objectionable” things relating to sex, but other than that it was a fantastic movie!
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Anja Hencken, age 12