Let me just preface this review by saying that I know literally nothing about fashion. Most of the clothes and names in this movie meant nothing to me, and, if the people involved with them are anything like the characters, I want it to stay that way. The Devil Wears Prada is a comedy with some drama and romance mixed in for good measure, and it is mainly on the list for its valuable moral lesson.
Concerning its artistic merit, it’s certainly a clean, well-made film which is surprisingly down-to-earth, despite the imperiousness of most of the characters. Some of the best scenes are the musical montages, particularly the opening with “Suddenly I See” (one of those songs that just won’t get out of my head), and an incredibly fluid scene involving multiple wardrobe changes with Andy walking to work (over several days).
The characters are the main sticking point with The Devil Wears Prada. As the title suggests, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) is cruel, vain, manipulative, and derogatory to nearly everyone she meets. Emily Charlton (Emily Blunt) and Nigel (Stanley Tucci) aren’t much better, with their constant jabs and insults of Andrea’s clothes and clothing size. The main high point is Anne Hathaway as Andy, who remains relatable throughout, even while alienating her boyfriend. With the patience of Job, she is a model of persistence in difficult circumstances, but, when she realizes how close she’s come to becoming like Miranda herself, she has the good sense to get out while she can. I will say that the actors do an excellent job with their roles, evoking myriad emotions (much more successfully than most of the actors in Thor did), but the simple fact is that, even when we’re meant to feel sorry for the characters, it’s a bit hard to get over the fact that they’re all still stuck-up snobs.
Entertainment value is another issue, again due to the characters. Who can say that watching someone getting insulted for over an hour is entertaining? There are some funny scenes, but, since I don’t usually find insults humorous, the comedy was hit-and-miss.
There were no notable visual effects that I could see. So aside from the aforementioned walk-to-work scene, that’s a moot point.
While it’s based on a novel by Lauren Weisberger (which I have not read), I thought it made quite a good jump to the screen, so that’s a plus for originality. I enjoyed the relative lack of sexual scenes and language, though they had to throw in a little profanity and suggestive dialogue to get the PG-13 rating.
As far as watchability, it falls short in my book. As I said, all the insults don’t make it a movie I’d want to see often, but Andy’s forsaking of her path to darkness was a great scene that made it all worthwhile.
Best line: Miranda – “You’re very fetching, so go fetch.” (Perfectly sums up Andy’s transformation)
VC’s favorite line: Andy – “I’m trying to get you a flight, but no one is flying out because of the weather [hurricane].” Miranda – “Please. It’s just–I don’t know–drizzling [huge thunderclap, palm trees wildly waving in the background].”Artistry – 3 Characters/Actors – 5 Entertainment – 2 Visual Effects – 2 Originality – 4 Watchability – 3 Other (Moral) – 6 TOTAL: 25 out of 60
Tomorrow — #363: Millennium Actress
© 2014 S. G. Liput