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The Devil Wears Prada

Starring Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci
Screenplay by Aline Brosh McKenna
Directed by David Frankel

IN SHORT: OK for the teengirls. [Rated PG-13. 100 minutes]

Twenty years ago we could see a studio paying big bucks to modify Elton John's hit into "The Bitch in Black," but it isn't twenty years ago and this tale of the high fashionista is aimed directly at a generation younger than Cranky. Continuing a series of roles that can best be described as "an innocent makes her way in a cutthroat word", young actress Anne Hathaway once again has an A-list supporting staff to play off. That Hathaway holds her own against Meryl Streep is high praise, IOHO. If we were inclined to diss this movie we would've written that last sentence a bit differently, including words like "wet paper bag" and such. But we did sorta kinda enjoy the film and thus are getting ahead of things...

And, no, Cranky is not a teenaged girl. His niece is and she would like The Devil Wears Prada. We know the demographics and can only sit back and advise any parental units not to worry about anything being "too adult" in this film. Oldsters can watch Streep while the young 'uns can pick through corporate rivalry and career building. None of the characters in The Devil Wears Prada are especially deep or deeply developed as the film doesn't have pretensions to the art house and film school analytical circuit. It seeks only to entertain and keeps its conflicts relatively small and fluffy.

Meet Andrea "Andy" Sachs (Hathaway), as a Northwestern University graduate determined to chart a course in journalism. Sharing a dumpy apartment with boyfriend boyfriend Nate (Adrian Grenier), Andy makes the rounds with resume in one hand and samples of her writing from the Daily Northwestern in the other. Andy finds herself in the office of the editor in chief of the most influential fashion magazine on the rack. That would be "Runway Magazine," whose top dog Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) is demanding, dismissive, and an altogether razor edged witch. Miranda's first assistant Emily (Emily Blunt) is quick to put Andy in her proper place, to do all the scut work Miranda needs done that has little to do with the magazine. Get the dry cleaning. Make reservations. Stuff like that. Andy is told that, if she can withstand a year under the hammer of the boss, she'll do well in the magazine business.

To be sure, Miranda is as much a pain to her underlings as she is to her editor mucky mucks like Nigel (Stanley Tucci), who lends a hand to Our Hero and updates her wardrobe from Evanston shlub to New York proto-yuppie chic. [Cranky knows all about Evanston shlub. He spent his first three years at NU in the same blue, hooded sweatshirt. Intentionally or not, the costume design in this film is right on <g>]. While Emily waits for Andy to crash and burn, there is little she can do when a convenient plot twist sidelines her character and Andy uses a connection made at a party -- a chance meeting with a professional magazine writer (Simon Baker) -- to fulfill one of Miranda's unreasonable demands.

If nothing else, The Devil Wears Prada proves once again that Meryl Streep can spin gold out of air. That being written, it is a showcase for Hathaway and will not disappoint the teen market that is her base.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Devil Wears Prada, he would have paid . . .


A dateflick for the demo. Eventually a fine rental for those of us whose preferences run towards anything Streep.

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