2006
Rated: PG-13 for mild sexual content, violence, and adult language.
Genre: Drama Comedy Romance
Directed By: David Frankel
Running Time: 1:46
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
Review Date: 9/20/07
Special Features:
· Audio Commentary with Director David Frankel, Producer Wendy Finerman, Costume Designer Patricia Field, Screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna, Editor Mark Livolsi and Director of Photography Florian Balhaus
· Deleted Scenes with Director and Editor Commentary
· A Trip To The Big Screen Featurette
· NYC and Fashion Featurette
· Fashion Visionary Patricia Field Featurette
· Getting Valentino Featurette
· Boss from Hell Featurette
· Gag Reel

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THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA

 

This one is for the women… who wear and know Prada, and think fashion is a relevant aspect of life, and sad as that may be, it’s just the demographic. “The Devil Wears Prada” is not for someone like me (and come on, if you cared about the suspicions of Miranda being based on Anna Wintour, and the “controversy” behind it, then you are definitely a girl, gay, or have no life. Which ever option you choose.), but in spite of that there has to be something there for everyone. Anne Hathaway, gorgeous as she may be, simply isn’t enough of a lure to grab any of the male viewers, and for good reason. The target audience is completely exclusive to the women folk, but I can’t see any woman beyond “Sex and the City” fans liking this. “The Devil Wears Prada” is yet another film around Oscar time that was just insanely overrated and over blown for having some talent on its side, because I can’t see any other reason.

As a dramedy it’s just routine; it’s the formula story of a girl who finds her self reaching stardom and abandons her roots. All the while writer Mckenna doesn’t make much of a case to convince us that this relationship Hathaway’s character Andy experiences is worth saving or pivotal enough to cause us to tear up at the prospect of this base tearing down. Adrien Grenier has literally nothing to do here but mope around and bitch about his girlfriend’s career, while Andy is really just a dumb tart really not worth fretting over.  

She’s a character who never quite reveals any bolder shades of complex emotions beyond superficial issues, which is probably the intent, and when she reaches down into her true roots once again, she’s still just a one note sap. I cared for none of the characters a single bit, and that’s a clear understatement. Stanley Tucci’s supporting character is really nothing but a cliché that becomes a plot device, and his talents are wasted yet again, the over blown Emily Blunt provides the typical antagonist role that’s really just there to give Andy a hard time and nothing more. The story and its many themes were just endless clichés presented with an importance that was just laughable. Director Frankel just takes this source material too seriously and tries for a stern dramedy rather than taking it all with a smirk.

As for Miranda, we’re beaten over the head with her villainy and are constantly tugged back and forth on her character played by Meryl Streep, who ends up feeling like a toned down Cruela Deville with a soul. One moment we’re told “She’s just doing her job,” so we should ease up on her? And yet there are other times where she’s just evil for the sake of twirling her mustache and providing an antagonist for Hathaway’s character. “You don’t get it,” says Tucci’s character, “Her opinion is the only one that matters.” That constant back and forth is shoved down our throat, and her villain just feels like one enormous plot device that later serves as a rather pathetic overall moral for Andy to base her life off of. I don’t know what strayed from the novel and what didn’t, and I’m not sure what liberties were taken. Honestly, I have no desire to find out. “The Devil Wears Prada” is for the women that actually care about Prada, and that’s all it’s for. For the general viewer like me, it’s just another formula mediocre dramedy.

As an overall collective product, it’s just a forgettable and mediocre dramedy with a story and characters I had no care for, but then I can acknowledge I’m not the audience this was intended for. Sitting here as a guy who has seen one overrated dramedy too many, this is another of its kind.

 

 

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