3.5 Stars (PG) David Frankel, 109 mins. Starring: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, Adrian Grenier and Simon Baker.
Packaged like a chick flick, The Devil Wears Prada (2006) is a fashion cupboard full of cliché’s, caricatures and predictable character arcs. This adaptation takes on the thinly veiled memoir by Lauren Weisberger detailing her time as an assistant to the notorious Vogue editor, Anna Wintour.
The film follows frumpy fashion outcast, Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) as she tries her unmanicured hand at Runway magazine, under the rule of fashion dictator Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep).
Despite the threads of fashion montages, the laps of New York City and the perfectly curated soundtrack, the film fails to debunk the stereotypes about those in the fashion magazine industry.
We’re given fashion reject Andy, who sees her job as a stepping-stone to a better career. Her boss is the epitome of a steel fist in a velvet glove, Miranda, crushing dreams like diet pills in her minion’s food (or lack thereof).
Then there is the double-act that bring lightness and laughter – the desperate for recognition assistant Emily (Emily Blunt) and flamboyant (obviously) Art Director of Runway, Nigel (Stanley Tucci).
These one-dimensional characters lack depth, what we see is what we get. No backstory, no last name, minimal emotion. There’s a small glimpse into Miranda’s softer side but it doesn’t amount to much. In the words of Ms Priestly herself – “That’s all”.
It lacks impact too. There are no takeaways apart from blue is not just blue. It’s cerulean, azure and lapis. Go figure.
Sadly, director David Frankel, chose tropes we have seen before over developing a true insight into those in the fashion. Using his Sex and the City experience, to satisfy the feel-good factor of a chick flick.
It is not a film you can sink your teeth into (hold the carbs), but the devilishly good actors make it worth the watch.