“Why is no one re-ady?”Miranda Priestly
Leanna here, and I have to tell you, I almost didn’t pick this movie. I almost picked A Star is Born. If you know me, you know all you need to do is mention that movie and I will begin deliverying a fun stream of facts and conspiracy theories like Lady Gaga’s “Heal Me” is actually a song for Ally, but it was too good, so she kept it for herself. The soundtrack was in my Spotify most played tracks playlists for 2018 and 2019 (and let’s be honest, it will probably show up in 2020, too). I saw the movie three times in theaters including twice in IMAX. But instead, I picked The Devil Wears Prada.
The reason I picked The Devil Wears Prada is simple. I need some space from A Star is Born. As much as I would treasure another watch with two of my favorite people, I knew I couldn’t write an unbiased post right now. Even though it’s my birthday post, and I’m allowed to love what I love, I know A Star is Born isn’t perfect. I love the movie enough to want to do a fair review when we do eventually craft a menu for it
Enter Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, and a bunch of useless men in The Devil Wears Prada. My mom and I loved this movie when it came out (in 2006… I feel old). I can’t even count the number of times we watched it together. We also loved the soundtrack (especially during this iconic scene). And I saw the main character Andy (played by Anne Hathaway) as somewhat of an inspiration, just like I did Ally: one transformed into the fashionista I always wanted to be and the other grew into a legendary pop star (ugh, if only I had the pipes). I saw something I wanted out of myself in both these women, even if it was just superficial.
But I also know that I made mistakes in the first few viewings of The Devil Wears Prada. Being a teenage girl when this movie came out, whose only experience with love was unrequited, I couldn’t believe that Andy would dare to neglect her boyfriend. On another viewing, I can safely say that the boyfriend is the villain. And honestly, Andy’s friends are his minions. Girl needs to get some more supportive people in her life! Andy’s boyfriend bails on her when things get tough (which conveniently happens when Andy’s career starts taking off) and her friends turn around and mock her role seconds after she brings them all delightful gifts she scored from her job. Even her dad pressures Andy to snub her boss when she gets a last-minute request that conflicts with their plans. Let this movie be a cautionary tale for who your real friends are.
But there is also so much to love about this movie. Emily’s (conveniently played by Emily Blunt) constant sass and completely bonkers sense of fashion. Stanley Tucci’s ring which he definitely just brought to set and insisted on wearing in every scene because it was what Nigel would do. Andy’s tiny wins with her boss and that adrenaline rush that comes when you just rock it at work. And all the clothes, and all the shoes…
And Meryl. Streep. I know she has been nominated for 21 Oscars and has taken home 3 of them, but honestly, what were they thinking when they snubbed her for this role? The subtlety of her pursed lips and where she places her gaze, the tone and pacing of her voice, and the way she balances ruthless yet vulnerable. Her performance is everything. And while Miranda Priestly has many good lines in this movie, it’s Meryl Streep’s delivery that makes so many quotes truly iconic.
And that is why we devoted our entire meal to Miranda’s feedback during a key pitch meeting at the Runway offices. One employee offers up, “Um, well, they’re showing a lot of florals right now…” to which Miranda responds, “Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking…” Well, I’m sorry Miranda, but we really did go all-in on this florals pitch and we hope you see something you like.
We have a Brooklyn Sunrise cocktail with gin, gentian liqueur, and Aperol. Maybe have one or two of these first before you review the rest of our pitch, okay Miranda?
We’ll follow that up with a pink grapefruit, avocado, and pomegranate salad with edible flowers.
And finishing it all out are shortbread cookies with pressed edible flowers. We kept it light because, after all the body-shaming that happens in this movie, we really couldn’t stomach another course which really shows the harmful effects of controlling another person’s food choices (seriously though, why do we tolerate this kind of language in films?).
André: I can see why it’s considered a classic. Basically, you have Meryl Streep preforming at the top of her game in a lighthearted movie that the whole family can enjoy, with plenty of quotable moments. Is it perfect? No. Is it problematic at times? Sure. Is any of this a surprise for a movie from 2006? Not really.
Leanna: The 2nd worst birthday movie I picked. Of the other birthday movies I’ve picked, I’d file this one just above (500) Days of Summer. I still enjoyed watching it, but it just wasn’t quite as magical as I remembered (except for Meryl Streep – that kind of magic never fades).
Ben: 65%. Somewhere amongst all of the aspects that weigh this movie down, there is a wonderful and thoughtful movie that highlights labor abuse in a cut-throat world and a woman deciding to rise above all of it for her health, her interests, and the realization of their place in a system that enjoys chewing up and spitting out a long line of others just like her. But all of that gets lost amongst a pretty shallow movie of triumph that barely lands its ending and the good feelings it is supposed to evoke. The score/soundtrack does the film no favors in providing a nonstop flow of sound that never gives you an opportunity to sit with what is truly happening. It is a testament to the actors that even a modicum of this works. This makes it all the more frustrating because you want the better, more confident version of this film.