In the fashion world, which can be very intimidating, it is literally a dog-eat-dog world where only the strong (and stylish) survives. You either have what it takes, or you might as well as look for another profession. Many have tried and succeeded, while others have failed miserably. The Devil Wears Prada, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, is semi-realistic, but it is pretty close to being an accurate depiction of that world.
Based on the best-selling novel by Lauren Weisberger, the film stars Anne Hathaway as Andrea "Andy" Sachs, a naively perky but aspiring journalist living in New York with her boyfriend Nate (Adrian Greiner), who at first scoffs at the fashion world, regarding it as "shallow" and "empty," but ends up landing a job at Runway, the city's most premier fashion magazine. She is the new junior assistant to the '"boss from Hell," Miranda Priestly (a brilliantly icy Meryl Streep), the tyrannical and extremely demanding editor-in-chief, whose attitude is just as bizarre and icy as her own fashion choices.
At first, Andy is terrible at her job, and always ridiculed by Emily (Emily Blunt), Miranda's senior assistant, but with the help of art director Nigel (Stanley Tucci), who gives her tough love and advice, she eventually excels at her responsibles and has a complete makeover: fashion-wise and attitude. While being seduced by the luxuries and perks of being in the social circle, she forgets her real self and her humanity, while leaving Nate and her friends behind, and has to choose what's more important, her job or her morals?
What separates Devil Wears Prada from most chick flicks is that it has heart and real wit, while having relatable characters that are allowed to express their vulnerabilites, while not losing the characteristics that make them so much fun to watch. It is also a love letter to the beauty and vastness of New York, where you get to see every inch of it, because it is the most cinematic city of all-time.
Some of the best scenes include Streep's introduction as the terrifying Miranda, Andy's humiliation at the hands of Miranda as she explains to her the difference between two similar belts, Nigel's speech to Andy about how important her job really is, Andy's remarkable transformation, and Miranda's relevation to Andy about her impending divorce. These and many other moments reveal a deepness not shown in other movies of this kind.
The cast is outstanding: Ms. Streep earned her 12th Academy Award nomination for her awesome portrayal of Miranda; Hathaway matches her as Andy and brilliantly holds her own; Tucci is hilarious as Nigel, Andy's tongue-in-cheek, and sort-of guardian angel; but the real standout is Blunt, who nearly steals the entire film away from everyone else, with her incredible one-liners and remarkable comic ability. This is one of the best casts ever assembled in a comedy.
The special features aren't anything new, since they were taken from the original DVD and Blu-ray editions, but they are still great. There is the original but informative commentary by director David Frankel, producer Wendy Finerman, costumer designer Patricia Field, screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna, editor Mark Livolsi, and cinematographer Florian Ballaus. There are almost 22 minutes of deleted scenes with optional commentary by Frankel and Livolsi; five featurettes: The Trip to the Big Screen, NYC and Fashion, Fashion Visionary Patricia Field, Getting Valentino, and Boss From Hell. There is also a gag reel, trailers, TV spots, and a soundtrack promo for the film itself.
When it comes down to it, I really loved The Devil Wears Prada and thought that it is one of the best, and smartest films of the last ten years. It is also one of those rare examples of how to adapt a best-selling novel into a successful film.