Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Devil Wears Prada

What better way to celebrate Independence Day afternoon than going to see a movie about the excesses of the American fashion industry and its ancillary magazines.

I'm an avid Meryl Streep fan, have been disappointed that Hollywood has not seen fit to give her lead roles due to the 'age barrier' glass ceiling for quite a few years, and am glad she is now returning in full vigor.

I enjoyed elements of the movie, but ultimately have drawn the conclusion that the producer, director, and screenplay writer need to thank Streep profusely for saving it from relegation to B-movie status. The storyline is about as thin and exciting as the models and not a cliche has been left unturned: one will sit through encounters with a Dragon Lady doyenne of fashion magazines--apparantly, a thinly based cartoon of the novelist Weisberger's former Vogue boss, Anna Wintour; the fashion models starving themselves to skininess while complaining vociferously about other women who can eat 'carbs' and still get into a size 4 dress; the angst of the supporting actress's (Anne Hathaway) failing love affair as she grows in her position as lackey to said doyenne. I think you get the picture--no pun intended.

The message of the movie appears to be to alert us to the fact--as spoken by the dragon lady Miranda to her subordinate Andy--that "Everyone wants to be us."

Saving graces include a short period when Streep is allowed to dispense with the cartoon character and show Miranda as someone capable of real emotion when she talks to her subordinate about her divorce, Stanley Tucci's camping it up as Nigel, a gay fashion designer with heart, and some spectacular shots of New York City and Paris at night.

Fans of chick lit and Meryl Streep (both categories being autonomous, I'd imagine) should definitely go and see it. As I said earlier, I'm in the latter group, and I'm sure glad I did.

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Ernesto Raul said...

I disagree with you. I think the movie had nothing to do with fashion, and everything to do with New York bosses and New York business. I worked for a White Shoe Law Firm in Wall Street for many years, and had a myriad of bosses and clients who are just like the Merrill Streep character There are many people in New York and other cities as well for that matter, who are forced to give up everything for their jobs. The boss’s role is to get the employee to devote as much of his life to the office as possible. The employee's job is to decide where to draw the line, when to say, "enough, my job will not consume this part of my life." For me, the movie portrayed this message beautifully.

Damian McNicholl said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ernesto. I've no doubt these sort of bosses are found in every profession. I'm an attorney and worked for one in Long Island, too.

Martha O'Connor said...

My daughter dragged me to this movie. It was a lot of fun as a girls' night out actually. She is friends with twin girls whose mom is a fashion designer and the mom said the movie was just like her days working for DESIGNER NAME OMITTED. It was enjoyable. Light, forgettable, cliched--but just fine. It was definitely better than The Little Vampire, which has got to be the worst movie ever made.

Hope you're well. How goes the writing? Shoot me an email sometime; I'd love to catch up. Xx Martha

Damian McNicholl said...

Will drop you an email, Martha. Great to hear from you.