Best Movie Ever?: “The Devil Wears Prada”

 

The Devil Wears Prada is designer crack. I’d huff it if I could. It’s flashy, kickass, full of Madonna’s gayest songs, and best of all, it sincerely gets better with each viewing. The 2006 adaptation of Lauren Weisberger‘s bestseller completely improves upon its source material, adding more zing and cruelty than an average Three’s Company reunion. If you flip on TBS and The Devil Wears Prada happens to be on, I dare you to try turning it off. Anne Hathaway‘s foot-long bangs and Meryl Streep‘s harsh, italic smirk will stun you into submission. Here are six official reasons why The Devil Wears Prada (costarring Emily Blunt of this week’s new release Looper) may be the best movie ever.

 

1. Feral Meryl forever

Little Andrea Sachs (Anne Hathaway) is a do-gooder fresh from Northwestern who just wants to journalize. She wants to write real stories about unions, scoops, and importance. Freak. Unfortunately the only job interview she can snag is with Runway fashion magazine doyenne Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), whose dry, breakneck elitism is managed by her equally elitist assistant Emily (Emily Blunt). Andy’s never heard of Dolce or Gabbana but wins the job as Emily’s assistant nonetheless, and before you know it she earns Miranda’s respect, outranks Emily, and ultimately has to decide whether to keep the job or follow her dream as a “real” reporter. Doesn’t Andy know that real journalists can be fashionable and hard-hitting? Do I have to bring up Jane Fonda and The China Syndrome already?! Seriously.

Anyway: Meryl Streep. Meryl “Snap Yo’ Neck” Streep. Meryl “You’ll need a Silkwood shower after I’m done with your ass, Anne Hathaway” Streep. She’s just divine as Miranda, elevating what could be a one-dimensional “mean” role into a devastating, frightening, and aloof superhero. Tragic sidenote: The thing about Meryl Streep’s 14 Oscar losses is if you look at the competing nominees in each respective year, you realize she actually didn’t deserve any of those trophies. Maybe for A Cry in the Dark in ’88 against Jodie Foster in the unintentionally hilarious The Accused? I’d have been happy with that. Otherwise, her only other non-win nomination I’d consider is for The Devil Wears Prada, simply because the achievement is so unforgettable and funny. Comic actresses almost never win Best Actress, and it’s no surprise that Meryl’s inspired work lost to Helen Mirren in The Queen, a movie that exemplifies the academy’s infatuation with real-life characters and stodgy cinema. I hope Meryl brushed it off with a signature Miranda Priestly wave and homicidal grimace.

2. The fashions are… fashion-y.


The Devil Wears Prada takes place in New York. And by “New York” 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-bobbling charming. It is so stupid, and so much fun to watch. Note Andy’s transformation into a cosmo, properly accessorized assistant. It’s a She’s All That morph for the Bushnell set. J’adore Dior!

3. Thank God we have actresses who are named “Blunt” and play evil well.

Thankfully The Devil Wears Prada is a movie that doesn’t gift all its finest 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, Emily here sneaks in a few cutting moments too. 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,” she explains to Andy. “Miranda missed Lagerfeld just before he boarded a seventeen hour flight to Australia. She now works at TV Guide.” It’s an archetypal role, the unforgiving pseudo-boss, but has an actress ever looked so good or ever had so much fun playing it? I’d bet my cerulean military jacket it’s a no.

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