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REVIEW: "The Devil Wears Prada"

'Prada' contains a few stumblingblocks on its runway, but compensates with strong performances from its lead characters.



By Wayne Francis
Jacksonville, Florida


MY RATING


I enjoyed The Devil Wears Prada. Meryl Streep communicates a humanness about her character, Miranda, that is mostly responsible for the film’s’ success. She is evil—the “devil” who wears prada—but her devilish behavior is semi-justified. Miranda runs a popular magazine, and is responsible for millions of dollars and hundreds of employees. On her back rests the success of Runway magazine, and for the company to win in business, she must take her job very seriously.

When she hires a new assistant, Amanda, we see her belittle the young recent college grad. Miranda calls her by another name “Emily” and tosses her coat and bag on the assistant’s desk as she walks by each morning. Miranda asks for extreme devotion from her assistant, once calling Amanda one weekend night ordering her to organize a flight so Miranda can get home to see her twins perform a musical. The assistant vows to be strong throughout, but she eventually breaks down, considers resigning, but does not, and by film’s end, she joins Miranda in her appreciation and dedication to fashion culture.

There are unnecessary scenes outside the offices of Runway magazine; we see some of Amanda’s personal life, her boyfriend, etc., and this bored me silly. It’s obvious that Amanda is transformed from her experiences; she starts to dress differently after her first weeks on the job, and she mingles with the fashion elite, so it’s unnecessary to insert trite, one-dimensional characters outside the source of Amanda’s transformation to indicate what is already apparent. The excruciatingly banal scenes involving Amanda’s social life, such as the scene where a friend catches Amanda being too friendly with another man during an art exhibit, and a scene when Amanda’s boyfriend chastises her for being too similar to the runway models that she mocked beforehand, did little to add significance to an otherwise solid narrative with snappy dialogue, a decent score, and a modern, interesting setting at a New York Magazine company.

As it stands, there are quite a few stumbling blocks on the Runway, but the drama surrounding Miranda and Amanda is too devilishly fun for me not to recommend the film.

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