Reviewed by: Misty Wagner
Should I save sex for marriage? Answer
How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer
How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer
What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer
I’m ugly. Why was God so unfair to me this way? Answer
How can I deal with temptations? Answer
|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