The Devil Wears Prada is designer crack. It’s flashy, kickass, full of Madonna’s gayest songs, and best of all, truly gets better with each viewing.
The 2006 adaptation of Lauren Weisberger’s bestseller completely improves upon its source material, adding more zing and cruelty. Anne Hathaway’s foot-long bangs and Meryl Streep’s harsh, italic smirk will stun you into submission.
Here are six reasons why The Devil Wears Prada may be the best movie ever.
Andy Sachs (>Anne Hathaway) is a do-gooder fresh from Northwestern who just wants to journalize. Unfortunately the only job interview she can snag is with the world’s most influential fashion magazine, run by icy doyenne Miranda Priestly. As Priestly, Meryl Streep conveys a dry, breakneck elitism tempered by wounded pride and family dysfunction.
She elevates what could be a one-dimensional role into a devastating and aloof antihero. Presumably Andy is the hero of the novel, but in David Frankel’s film, you find yourself siding with Miranda and appreciating her frustration with the parade of fools before her.
The Devil Wears Prada takes place in New York. And by that I mean, the Carrie Bradshaw coloring-book version of New York. It’s decadent and dreamy and editorial and run-across-the-street-with-your-Starbucks-in-hand charming.
Andy’s evolution from a frump into a properly accessorized assistant is a She’s All That transformation for the Candace Bushnell set. J’adore Dior!
Thankfully this movie that doesn’t gift its best one-liners to one character. Though it’s Miranda who gets to mutter “That’s all” when finishing a conversation with an emotionally destroyed assistant, Blunt sneaks in a few cutting moments as bitchy front-desk sentinel Emily Charlton. Her self-serious professionalism and snobbery are to die for.
Specifically, I love her tales of old, failed assistants: “One time an assistant left the desk, because she—I don’t know, sliced her hand open with a letter opener. Miranda missed Lagerfeld just before he boarded a 17-hour flight to Australia. She now works at TV Guide.”
Has anyone ever had so much fun playing the unforgiving pseudo-boss? I’d bet my cerulean military jacket it’s a “no.”
As Miranda’s under-appreciated gay Nigel, Tucci is perfect. Even his sigh is right. I love how he snipes Andy in the cafeteria with detached commentary: “Corn chowder. That’s an interesting choice. You do know that cellulite is one of the main ingredients in corn chowder?” And how he dismisses her entire fashion sense with “I’m sure you have plenty more poly-blend where that came from.”
He’s the alpha genius version of an H&M fitting room attendant.
I don’t think of myself as particularly nostalgic for 2006, but wow, the soundtrack to The Devil Wears Prada makes me long for MySpace. KT Tunstall’s “Suddenly I See” whisks us into the film, and Madonna’s “Jump” and Alanis Morissette’s cover of Seal’s “Crazy” convey a world that is fast-paced and too-cool-for-you.
The most clever cut, though, is from 1990: A good chunk of Madonna’s “Vogue” plays during the movie—a nod to Priestly’s inspiration, Vogue editrix Anna Wintour.
Anne isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I know, but I love her in everything she does. I can’t think of a time when she half-assed a role, and found her believable in the not-very-believable role of a hapless yet ungrateful lackey given a golden opportunity.
And look: She’s a vision in a shock-white ensemble. That’s important too.
Is The Devil Wears Prada one of your compulsively watchable faves? It should be. If not, I blame Adrian Grenier.