Thursday, July 13, 2006

By Popular Demand, Chick Flick Entitled "The Devil Wears Prada" Reviewed! Also, A Hilarious Trailer for Your Thursday Evening Amusement

I saw The Devil Wears Prada last night at our local AMC. It was about what I expected: a well-done, well-financed studio movie with some reliably good performances.

Based on a novel by Lauren Weisberger (whose own experiences working for the editor of Vogue magazine, Anna Wintour, form the basis for the novel), the story centers around recent Northwestern graduate Andy Sachs (played by Anne Hathway), who comes to New York City looking to become a journalist but finds out that no one in the big city wants to actually hire her as a reporter. So she interviews for a job at Runway (the film's stand-in for Vogue) as the editor-in-chief's assistant. The Editor-in-chief, Miranda Priestly, (played by Meryl Streep) is the Devil who wears Prada, and though her character isn't nearly as terrible as the title insinuates, she's very good as the tougher than average boss-lady. There are some movies that Meryl cannot come in and save, (like Prime and Prarie Home Companion for example), but what she can do is come into a solid studio entertainment like this, and then class up the whole place by being an actress first and a movie star second. I think they cast Hathaway in this because she's just playing a slightly older version of her role in The Princess Diaries. Apparently, people can't get enough of her going from frumpy bore to Audrey Hepburn in a single montage.

Here's what I liked: 1) Meryl Streep's character gives a fantastic speech to Anne Hathway that concisely explains how the sometimes ludicrous clothes we see on runways in Paris and New York filter down to the rack at Target. Great writing like that helped me believe, at least for the two hours I was there, that fashion really is important. Stanley Tucci's character adds a few stories that give weight to the idea that fashion actually can be an artform.

2) I had to think too long to come up with a second one, so I'll just say that everything else that is good about this movie is merely that: good. Nothing else aside from Meryl's assured and entirely believable performance, really stood-out.

What I didn't like was this: 1) The dude who played the young actor who gets murdered in L.A. Confidential -- you know the blonde guy who got arrested by Kevin Spacey during the "Movie Premiere Pot Bust"? He's in this thing, and I don't know what happened to that guy in the nearly 10 years since that movie came out, but his eyebrows have become lfrightening, strangely-colored things that are far too big for his face. They looked like they'd been glued above his eyes by a nervous make-up girl. And though his character was supposed to be a suave, worldly writer, he was just dull and eyebrow-creepy in every scene. Blecch.

2) Meryl Streep's little smile at the end. Hathaway's character ended their professional relationship badly, Meryl's character has proven herself to be cold, though essentially human, and some days after Hathaway quits her job, the former combatants spot each other from opposite sides of the street. Anne waves and Meryl stares at her, doesn't wave, and then drops into her car. As they drive away, Meryl smiles wistfully. Completely out of character and it was the only time I didn't believe Meryl was this character. Not every character has to be redeemed, Hollywood. I promise.

Anyway. Not that any of you are going to rush out and see this thing, but if your wives or girlfriends want to go see it, I'm just letting you know it won't be as grueling an experience as you might have thought.

Also, I laughed very very hard today. Not House of Dogs hard, but very hard. I don't know if it was because I'd just read Moriarty's Miami Vice review on, but when I saw this trailer for the new Reno 911 movie called Reno 911: Miami, I about busted a gut. It is exactly the opposite of Michael Mann's movie. Click here and scroll down. It's hosted on YouTube.

Anyway, I'm off to see TC Boyle at the Margaret Mitchell House. I don't expect to talk to him because I'm not having any books signed, but I'll let you know how it goes.


JudgeHolden said...


Quick editorial note on this post -- looks like they took the Reno 911: Miami trailer down off of YouTube. Maybe they're waiting to unveil a slightly more polished version, who knows? Until the s studio posts it on-line for real, you'll have to take my word for it -- it's funny.

Beth said...

Found you searching for others who were at the Margaret Mitchell House last night. What did you think about T.C. Boyle last night? I found him quite personable and charming, and I had a wonderful time!

harwell said...

So disappointed they took that trailer down. Along with the Borat movie, the Reno flick is on the top of my must-see list. I thought last season got a little repetitive, but it's still some damn funny stuff. I can't get enough of Trudi. She's sort of like the Grant Millen of the bunch. Nobody wants to work with her, but what are you going to do? Ah well. I'm sure the studio will be thrilled to know people are interested and hopefully they'll get the full trailer up soon. In the meantime, here are some of my favorite moments:

For Heath:

For Hinesy:

For Fedak:

And lastly for T.C.:

Get some.

JudgeHolden said...

Hey Beth -- checked out your blog and I like it a lot. As for TC Boyle, I thought he was really nice and I enjoyed his reading of the first chapter of his new book. I'll probably put up a post about his reading sometime this week, so check back if you get the chance.

As for Reno: 911, when I used to have cable I didn't make a point of watching it. But when I did happen onto it, I laughed pretty hard pretty often. If the movie's as funny as the trailer, I'll probably have to see it.

Nathan said...

crane you're a tease.

" was such a great trailer. Too bad you guys can't watch it cause it was soooooo good."

Anonymous said...

Crane - i didn't know that you were a metrosexual man! I am going to have to get you a penis pump and a Jean Paul Gautier jock strap for X-Mas. YETH! YETH! YET!

Also, I wonder if you like ABBA?

I saw the DWP with my wife on our anniversary and the audience was like being at a West Hollywood Gay and Lesbian convention. That was totally cool, except there wasn't a diversity of these people in attendance - but the fake Ambercrombie and Fitch crowd instead - you know - the boy toy types with the six packs that look like carbon cut out copies of each other.

Anyway - they would snap their fingers, laugh in unison at the most superficial of things - they adored when the 2nd Asst was a caty bitch to Ana Hathaway's character (even if it became repeitive and boring), loved the repititive masochism of Streep's character comic book character and the stereotypical Queen played by Stanley Tucci that has now replaced the all knowing wise black man in psuedo-liberal Hollywood films.

Not to mention, they would just freak out at the different stylish outfits that Hathaway would wear as she changed into that bulimic Hepburn type - even to the point of clapping! So far, I am glad that I am not gay, because most of my life would involve surface things - like watching REAL WORLD episode re-runs, AMERICAN IDOL, blowing all of my money on clothes I will wear onyl once, spend countless hours at the gym, hair salons and massage parlors getting groomed, primped and laid through glory holes. I mean, even Betina thought of this a film of no importance but of positive escapism it would measure about a B. A would be for this films that give the illusion of substance. This just celebrates the mundane and superficial.

BTW - I agree with most of your points about the film, but felt that Meryl Streep's character was too one-dimensional and felt that the included scenes with her crying over her lost marriage and smiling at the end were tacked on by Streep to give the character a bit more depth. I don't think it played well.

Otherwise, another banal mess with a strong liberal message. Too bad that the film doesn't manage to do the theme any justice.


harwell said...

"blowing all of my money"

Totally thought you were going to say something else there...


blankfist said...

I thought you said you were going to give Crane some grief about watching Prada, Paul. What gives? I'll give you the what's for. Oh, and Harwell, your take on this line "blowing all of my money on clothes I will wear onyl once" makes me think of Clinton and Lewinski somehow.

Anonymous said...

Only Heath can truly dish out the real grief. We all know this.

I am but a novice in this regard. Plus, I have great difficulty giving grief to good friends.

Crane - don't worry man - I am probably as gay as you are for watching this film.

The question is - did you really go to this on your own or did your wife "drag" you to it?

Betina has a habit of taking me to the worst films of all time - movies like America's Sweethearts, Devil Wears Prada, The Break-up and other commercial fare that I usually criticize without seeing.

Also, did you know that the modern "blow job" was originally a gay sex act that made its way into the heterosexual mainstream? Not only do gay people influence art and fashion, but also how we suck!

So, enough of the hatin' on gay people - pretty soon they'll make butt fucking trendy! Eventually, we'll see marriages staying together once this breaks the taboo and K-Y Jelly sales going through the roof!


JudgeHolden said...

Very interesting to hear how the WeHo crowd reacted to Devil Wears Prada. Here in Georgia, I was one of just a few guys who were there with their girlfriends. If there was a gay in the village, then I didn't see him. When I first started seeing trailers for Devil Wears Prada, Peggy expressed interest in it and I thought it was going to be a thing where Peggy dragged me to see it. But by the time it rolled around, I actually did want to go see it. Mostly because it's frickin' boring in Decatur and going to the movies is one of the few things to do around here that doesn't cost a whole lot of cash, but also because I'm totally gay.

Interesting fact: Ebert and Roeper both said that Monster House seemed like a lock for best animated feature of the year. This surprised me, but they said it was really good. Maybe something else to see at the drive-in this weekend.

Anonymous said...

OMG! Where is some new blog?

blankfist said...

Speaking of gay, has Crane thrown in the proverbial towel of blogging? Yahweh! Seriously, it used to be the 'daily innanities' - but now it's the 'I'll post maybe once or twice a week, but will put my lovely wife to task to make it seem like more' sort of blog that kind of sucks because I don't want check in as often. Man, come on, at least be like Moorhead and not tempt us with the idea of 'daily'. That's just cruel.

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