Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Devil Wears Prada


I’ll admit it, this movie started out with 4 strikes against it, because it asks me to accept that the world of fashion really matters. It’s basically the old Cinderella story girls love so much, because it tells them that if they just put on some pretty clothes and have a fashion make-over on Oprah they’ll stop being the boring, ordinary women they actually are. Only these days, of course, Cinderella finds out that Prince Charming is really a snake, and goes back to her boring, ordinary original boyfriend. I’d have liked it more if Anne Hathaway had just said Fuck it, and fallen for the whole empty lifestyle that included $1900 handbags pulled out of the garbage can … and I suspect many of the women for which this garbage was made would like it better that way, too. The people in this movie are so shallow they don’t need to open doors, they can just slide right under them, and so superficial they dare not go out in the rain or their faces will wash off. Not their makeup, their faces. Meryl Streep plays (excellently, as always) the Osama bin Laden of the fashion world, a person who treats everyone else in the world as objects with no actual reality. A sociopath, basically; if she were a man she’d be a mass murderer on the order of Ted Bundy. There is the obligatory scene where it is revealed that she actually does have a heart, or at least a spleen that takes the function of a heart, and I didn’t believe a moment of it. They try to have it both ways, as a satire of the vicious world of fashion, and as a glorification of it. Don’t think so? I know that a million little female hearts went pit-a-pat at Hathaway’s caterpillar-into-a-butterfly transformation (which we saw coming from way down Broadway, like every other scene here), and the way the jaws dropped on those anorexic bitches she works with. It doesn’t work, because Hathaway looks fine in rags. Stanley Tucci is good, as always. Otherwise, a big zero.