The Devil Wears Prada
Director: David Frankel (Miami Rhapsody, "Sex and the City")
Novel: Lauren Weisberger
Screenplay: Aline Brosh McKenna
Producer: Wendy Finerman
Starring: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, Simon Baker, Adrian Grenier
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 109 min
read my spoiler disclaimer



A Review by Misael Soto
     Children as they age and grow quickly discontinue eating baby food. Their bodies demand moving on to solid foods with more substantial amounts of vitamins and nutrients. Now, shouldn’t our consumption of cinema continue changing, in a similar way, solidifying itself into something more real and meaningful? Of course! And yet, films at the intellectually junior high level of David Frankel’s The Devil Wears Prada are continually being made, marketed to, and accepted by adults. These intellectually stunted "adults" would rather be entertained than enlightened. Why move on to steak and potatoes when eating crushed peas is so easy?

      Besides the fact that she’s working in one of the worst films of her career, Meryl Streep definitely deserves all the accolades and prestige she’s garnered from her immensely entertaining evil/comedic turn as Miranda Priestly, chief fashion editor for the fictional "Runway" magazine. Stanley Tucci is another standout, doing much with his supporting role. Anne Hathaway, as well as most of the entire cast, proves adequate, excelling only when looking good is concerned.

      The film can be hilarious at times. I laughed out loud quite a bit, though I can’t remember when or why. And I can understand why this film has become one of the sleeper hits of the year. It gives its target audience everything they could possibly want and then some, its target audience being 25 year-old women with the minds of 15 year-old girls.

      That isn’t to say Prada is without a message or purpose. Frankel’s film absolutely glorifies fashion, praising it at times as high art, while simultaneously disparaging the very industry that keeps it alive and running. It presents us with the increasingly relevant age-old questions: How much of ourselves, our loved ones, and our free time do we give up for our jobs? And, more importantly (touched on only briefly), is it possible to reap the benefits and enjoyment of the products, services, and otherwise prostituted art forms essential to our capitalist market and not feel as though we’ve just sold-out?

      Is Prada a form of socialist propaganda, a sly liberal capitalistic putdown, or merely a moral guide for 14 year-old girls across the country? Although I had hoped for the former, its aspirations fell mostly in the latter category. And that's the problem with the film. While at first I found its point of view somewhat praiseworthy, the rather preachy message quickly became almost overbearingly pretentious, finding it even more depressing and downright absurd after Streep and Hathaway had long made their exits. Prada is ultimately frivolous and without a point. Unless you have the un-molded mind of a child or are completely without personal morals or values, there is really no reason for you to see this juvenile, sophomoric film. Even still, I feel obligated to recommend it, if anything as an elementary moral-reminder. Sadly there are those among us who need it.



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Links:
IMDb.com - full cast and crew
Official Site
FLIXSTER PROFILE for The Devil Wears Prada



 





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