Sunday, December 17, 2006

DVD: The Devil Wears Prada

• Handbag humor. Can guys watch it?

Genres: Comedy, fashion, adaptation
DVD released: Dec. 12, 2006
Director: David Frankel
Cast: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, Adrian Grenier, Simon Baker
Verdict: &&&

Which came first, The Devil Wears Prada, based on a novel by Lauren Wiesberger, or the Ugly Betty, ABC's hit based on a popular telenovela? Or is the bigger question really this: Can a guy watch this movie? The answer to the latter question is yes, though it is far more likely to please the girlfriend than the guy. On a certain level, it's a fairly straightforward fish out of water, she's in over her head kind of tale as aspiring journalist Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) stumbles into the job of assistant to Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), the power broker in the fashion industry as editor of Runway magazine. Sachs finds she has to set aside her pride and personal life to hang onto her job in the cutthroat world of fashion. While Hathaway is sweet as the innocent thrown to the wolves, it's Streep who makes the movie in an icy turn as a bitch on top of her empire. She is cold, condescending and utterly believable. My favorite moment comes in a scene in which Sachs lets out a disapproving giggle as Priestly is choosing between two belts of seemingly indistinguishable color. Priestly seizes the moment to cut her naïve assistant down to size in a monologue tracing how the cerulean blue of Sach's frumpy sweater evolved from the high fashion of the Paris runway. Prada finds the right fit in those moments that weave cleverness and humor and as Sachs struggles to fight off the ruthlessness that threatens to harden her sweet nature. // DVD notes // It's accessorized with a bevy of featurettes, but you know you're not going to watch them.

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