The 2006 film, The Devil Wears Prada, is a puny crowd-pleaser about a young woman (Anne Hathaway) who goes to work for a tyrannical fashion magazine editor (Meryl Streep).
Based on the Lauren Weisberger novel, the picture tries to convince us that Andrea, the Hathaway character, is naughty for being seduced by the “shallow” world of fashion, and it’s a silly misfire. But at least the piece has in its favor the non-feminist refusal to give its female characters a pass on all their moral choices. Miranda Priestly, the editor, is a cold and insulting jerk. One of her assistants (“Em”), played by Emily Blunt, is a bitchy snob. Both are essential to the creation of an unkind corporation.
This is what Andrea is doing—for a limited time, trying to keep her head above water in an unkind corporation. She isn’t naughty. Though nice to look at—and with Streep’s expertise—The Devil Wears Prada is, finally, a touchy feely fraud. Somehow, even Andrea’s hairy boyfriend seems fraudulent.