Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Devil Wears Prada

Talk to me for any length of time about movies, and eventually I'll get to the part about how Anne Hathaway is the best actress of her generation. And though I'm generally a fan of anything she does, it was pretty damn thrilling to see her paired with Meryl Streep, the best actress of her generation, in The Devil Wears Prada.

Anne plays Andy Sachs, a would-be journalist who somehow ends up as the assistant to Miranda Priestly (Streep), the editor of Runway magazine, a high fashion periodical that does not bear any resemblance whatsoever to another fashion magazine. And the story sounds like an old Hollywood sort of bitchfest (think of, say, Natalie Wood and Bette Davis making this movie 50 years ago). But then, that's the point. There really aren't any movies like that anymore that do what this one does: tell the story with wit, class, and humor. What's great about this movie (outside of Streep and Hathaway, both at the top of their games) is that, for once--and for maybe the only time this year--the filmmakers have made a movie that's meant to be fun.

Anyway, you can pretty much figure out the plot if you've seen a movie before. The real pleasure here, and it's a big one, is the way the story is told. There's a sly, observational sort of humor going on here, and Andy Sachs and Miranda Priestly are well-rounded characters. This film just made the AFI Ten Best of 2006 list, and it's easy to see why. Despite the sudden capitulation at the end, when the movie decides to give in to an old-fashioned, antifeminist ending, the movie is just so much damn fun. Watching this in the theater, I kept marveling at Meryl and Anne and realizing that you can still tell great acting when you see it; and how little do we really see it anymore?

The DVD itself betrays how much fun the filmmakers had with this movie, from the director's commentary to the gag reel to a surprising number of deleted scenes (15 of them). It's a nice package, worthy of a movie that, I think, is going to be remembered pretty fondly as one of the surprises of 2006. Hey, it came out the same weekend as Superman Returns, came in second, and then went on to outgross it by a significant amount of money. The difference? The Devil Wears Prada is a good movie. It's a smart movie. It's well-acted and fun. Guess they don't make superhero movies like that anymore...

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Stanley Tucci and Emily Blunt were also great. Stanley Tucci is an actor I don't like, actually, but he turns a role that could easily have been a stereotype into something special. Emily Blunt intrigued me in My Summer of Love, and here proves she deserves to be thrust into the mainstream. We have too few good actresses these days.

So, if you missed this one in the theater, now's your chance to go and pick it up. This has not been a remotely good year for movies; this is the most fun I had at the movies in '06.

Get the DVD here. There's still time to get it for Christmas. After all, a certain blogger loves Anne Hathaway and has been a very good boy this year...

5 comments:

yasamin say anne's boobs! said...

you think the movie was good? the book was outstanding!!

and you wanna see a whole new side of Anne Hathaway (mainly her boobs) check out HAVOC. most people say its crappy like you wouldn't believe but i think it was a great wakeup call movie for young'uns to see that pretending to be something you're not can easily get you killed.

and did i mention shes pretty much topless throughout the movie?

the scariest thing i saw this year was wholesome well rounded Anne Hathaway topless and moaning at a camera. I cried for 2 days straight.

Yas needs a wig said...

oh yeah and Streep looks freaking FABULOUS!!! in white hair.

SamuraiFrog said...

I have thought about reading the book, but I'm determined to finish Jean Auel's Earth's Children series before anything else. And I have seen Havoc. In fact, I just bought it when it came out, like every other Anne Hathaway movie, because I love her so damn much. The toplessness was good, too...that's twice for her now. She is a great actress, though, or at least she's going to be one.

Sherry said...

I'm going to be watching this movie over the weekend.

SamuraiFrog said...

You won't be sorry.