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June 27, 2006 > The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada

A movie review

by Heidi Leung

Attention chick-flick lovers, "fashionistas" and girly-girls, the movie you've been waiting for has arrived!

It's rare for a movie to surpass the book it is based on but this is what has happened with
The Devil Wears Prada. Based on Lauren Weisberger's novel of the same title, the story follows ambitious Andrea Sachs (Anne Hathaway), a college graduate with dreams of writing for The New Yorker. Of course, for a fresh college graduate, this job is nearly impossible; therefore, she applies at the prestigious Runway Magazine as an assistant to the editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly.

Suddenly she's engulfed in a strange world filled with impossibly thin and chic, giraffe-like women who shout strange words like Gucci, Prada, and Chanel. However, this isn't the least of it. Her new boss, Miranda Priestly, appears to be the devil, at one point, summoning her to get the unpublished copy of the latest Harry Potter novel for Priestly's twin daughters. So why doesn't Andrea just quit? Not only is this the "job that a million girls would die for," working with Miranda Priestly for a year guarantees Sachs a position at any magazine she desires. What would you do?

As a fashion fanatic, I worried that the filmmakers would destroy this beloved New York Times bestseller. For such a long time, Hathaway has been typecast as the Disney underdog. I half expected her to appear in her usual hideous, unflattering, poofy dresses and other strange Disney concoctions. Fortunately, as the opening credits rolled, I realized that the movie would be great after all. Patricia Fields of Sex and the City fame is the costume designer. Needless to say, the clothes were fantastic. The film is worth watching just to ogle the gorgeous Chanel necklaces. What's best about the film is that they use actual designers (at one point, Valentino has a cameo), and not the cheesy, fake designers seen in so many other films. Meryl Streep played an amazing Miranda Priestly. Though she was horribly cold and even psychotic, I couldn't help but sympathize with her and laugh at her cruelty to others. Hathaway is loveable and beautiful as usual.

As for the storyline itself, it diverges from the book a bit but is done very well. In fact, there were lots of totally unnecessary tidbits that drove me crazy in the book; I was relieved when I didn't see them appear in the film. Obviously, I'm ecstatic about the movie. It's a really fun film to watch, visually and aesthetically pleasing in every way. I highly recommend it.

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