The Devil Wears Prada

Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
This is a fun cover, if not a bit too campy for a modern day comedy flick. It does it’s job though, gets you in the mood for some crazy fashion hilarity. The menu is nothing to dangle from your belt though. It’s just an average Blu-ray menu, which you can access during the film. They should have had one of their little fashion designers get on board with the DVD packaging.

Features: 7/10

  • Audio Commentary With Director, Producer & Writer – You know what? It takes a really special commentary to hold my attention, and this one was like listening to the daily fashion report. The people on the commentary are so cliché Hollywood pretentious chatter boxes I wondered at times if they were joking, but it was all real. If you give a crap about every little jacket, bag, belt, and costume change and who designed it all, by all means listen. If you care more about cleaning your toilet, go on, give it a good scrub down and skip the commentary.
  • Deleted Scenes – These scenes are more of Hathaway looking a little bit too cute to be a grown up and a little too “I went to the Mickey Mouse Club School of acting” to be a convincing modern day woman trying to get ahead in the world of journalism. It’s not surprising why they were cut out of the final movie, it’s all pretty much repeated throughout the story.
  • Trivia Track – Now this I like. I enjoyed the movie at about a40%-65% entertainment level, varying for the moments when Meryl Streep hit the screen vs. the creepy urban “friends” scenes with giggling and spineless wise cracks about friendship and careers and all that tasty coming of age movie stuff. So, while I did enjoy some parts of the movie on its own, I enjoyed more parts watching it again with the trivia track. Note however, that a lot of the pop ups will be feeding you useless information about fashion and who made what stocking matching which bag to whatever 12 inch heel, but you can always skip from scene to scene if you get bored with the “Cosmo Vogue Elle women are only valued by what they wear” blabber.
  • Gag Reel – People falling in high heels is funny. What can I say? I’m evil.
  • HD Theatrical Trailers for other Fox movies – News flash, this is not an extra feature, it’s advertising!!!
  • 1080P Resolution DTS HD Audio – Whatever, oh, it’s good to have this when you are listening to Meryl Streep deliver lines, in her own classy way. In this case it cranks up the bitchiness to a new level. But seriously the 1080P image is crystal clear during every scene, this isn’t a showcase BD due to the subject matter but it is no slouch either. The DTS HD audio track while stunning doesn’t have much to work with as this is mainly a dialog based movie, it does come to life during the moments when the films music soundtrack kicks in though.

The Movie: 6/10
I’m occasionally in the mood for a semi-zany comedy with a modern twist. So, when The Devil Wears Prada came around, it seemed as though it would hit my funny bone just right. Then again, you never know when or where that special tingle in your gut will come from when it comes to movies.
First, I love Meryl Streep, so every scene when she is being her character’s severe business-woman self, it’s brilliant. I looked forward to her being on the screen every moment she wasn’t. Anne Hathaway, on the other hand, while I enjoy her to a degree, there are a lot of those old childhood star habits hanging around that are somewhat distracting.

Don’t get me wrong, I think she’s lovely and funny and most of the time she pulls off her character with a certain amount of almost grown up skill and what must be an internal determination to NOT be that sweet little thing from the Princess Diaries. And there’s the rest of the movie.

She does pout shamelessly sometimes, which reminds me that she has been groomed by the Hollywood fame pushers and star designers who toss celebrity and fortune in front of a young girl with a bright face and charming way about her…and then they turn her into a robot that can churn out romantic glances and puppy-dog sad eyes at the toot of a whistle.

This doesn’t really hurt the movie though, which can mean one of two things, 1.) It’s so amazing the flaws simply do not take away from it’s cinematic greatness. Or 2.) It’s painfully average so the flaws really don’t really damage the cinematic mediocrity. I’ll take door number two Monty!!

The movie is funny. There are a lot of good moments, all strung together with an underlying message that unless you are a size 4, these days, you are fat and mostly likely a loser. So, our heroine must overcome the horrible affliction of being a frickin’ size 6 to be successful. Good lord, nothing on me is below a size 6 unless there’s an X lurking around the corner in a big bowl of buttered popcorn somewhere.

Let’s face it people, she starts out “plain” and “fat” (remember, she’s a size 6!!) with no fashion sense, and then at some point blossoms with 10% of the cleverness of Pretty Woman and 2% of the subtly of A Coal Miner’s Daughter.

It’s the old trick with a new take, putting glasses on a gorgeous girl and putting her hair up in a bun to make her frumpy and then at the crucial moment in the story she throws her glasses aside and does the thing where she shakes her long hair down in slow motion and suddenly she is socially acceptable and lovable.

I think they had the right intentions with The Devil Wears Prada. I have a feeling they were trying to poke fun at the superficiality of the fashion industry and fame and all that comes with it, but there is never a time when it’s actually ok to be anything but young and skinny and beautiful. I’m not fond of that little trick of the eye that bores a hole into our subconscious hiding until the moments in life when we feel the shittiest about ourselves and then it comes back to remind us of our imperfections as decided by idiots.

We think we are seeing a cute comedy flick about a girl who makes good in the big city with her talent and gumption. When really she becomes successful because she dresses better, gets skinnier, and falls for all the charms of the glamorous life. I’m not married to the idea that a movie has to have a message, but come on, even these fluffy tummy ticklers usually have some kind of substance or ending that makes us all feel good about ourselves again.

All I could find is that when you are famous and you look the way you are supposed to look and you are rich, you can be hateful and treat people like crap. Even if Streep’s character did have her moments of weakness and humanity, she never lost her edge and didn’t stop being the hard core devil woman who seems to thrive on verbally torturing people.

I also learned that if I ever give a crap about my clothes, I want someone to snap me out of it quickly. Splash cold water in my face, make a loud noise, threaten to take away my sugar-latten non-low-fat vanilla creamer infused coffee …that ought to shock me back to reality.

Surprisingly, especially after all the comments I have just poured out here for you, I did have fun watching the movie. The result was quite a few laughs, a couple chuckles, a few “awe’s” and one big lump in my gut full of emotional decay and low self esteem were all the comedy should have filled me with joy. But never mind me.

I’m into movie costumes and stuff, but just looking at famous designer’s clothes slapped into every scene it’s more like a commercial than costume designing. How hard is it to put tiny expensive clothes on tiny young well paid women and make them look good? What can I say? In my world cellulite is the new black, now where’s my chips and dip? I feel like all this typing burned a few too many calories.

Value: 5/10
Rental all the way. This isn’t a keeper classic unless you want your daughters to aspire to be shallow and full of self loathing. Then by all means, go ahead and pay the 20 or so bucks you can find it for online here and there. If you are curious about Streep’s latest comedy venture, or you do want to laugh at fashion models and stuff, pay the rental, put it on your Blockbuster Total Access queue, or Netflix list and enjoy.

Overall Score 6/10