I saw Devil Wears Prada on Sunday afternoon while waiting for the sun to reappear. While I found the book repetitive, grating, stupid, annoying, childish, clunky, lacking in plot, momentum, character development and reasons to continue reading, I really liked the movie.
My friend who saw it with me commented that the movie tried to set up a false "ditzy fashion mag" vs. "serious meaty journalism" dichotomy, making the protagonist choose a "real, substantive job" [writing about janitors' unions] over the shallowness of the fashion mag life. But the cheap swipe at fashion mags doesn't really work because the movie regularly provides us glimpses of how hard these people work, how deeply they care about their work and how much they are invested. [I found the scenes where the editor meets with her staff, hashing out the editorial calendar, to be a spot-on combination of the real intuition, savvy, discernment and dedication that running a periodical takes.] Personal investment — that's the real theme. Will Andie live to work…or work to live? As the editor's brittle demeanor and poignant soliloquy demonstrate, the sacrifices that one makes to be a career success have a huge toll. In its attempts to explore this toll, Devil Wears Prada balances well between comedy and light drama, a feat made all the more impressive because it's wearing stiletto designer heels!