Hey I can enjoy a good chick-flick every now and again. And I surprisingly
enjoyed this very feminine-centric one.
Andrea Sachs (Hathaway) is our designated plucky
protagonist. She’s a lovely and down-to-earth aspiring journalist
who’s looking into an open secondary assistant position at
Runway magazine under the most high-powered and icy fashion editor
in the history of cinema, Miranda Priestly (Streep).
Andrea is a casual dresser, and modern fashion isn’t really
her forte, and it all leads to an unpleasant baptism by fire under
the tyrannical yet reserved Miranda. While working as a secretary
and lap-dog isn’t exactly working toward becoming the new
Eric Harrison, well we all have to start somewhere.
I think what I like about Streep’s Miranda is that she’s
more than just one-dimensional bully boss. She may seem shallow
and short with people, but there’s a real character and person
behind it. Streep makes sure not to overdo it and chew any scenery.
She keeps it emotional and understated but is there. I think ultimately
you see how living the life that she does galvanizes you and how
it changes you.
It changes Andrea as well, even though it doesn’t always outwardly
seem that way in her attitude. But she’s willing to jeopardize
her integrity and beliefs in order to serve the whims of her boss.
My mentor taught us that the top priority was to never, ever lose
our integrity. And that’s really Andrea’s main dilemma.
How can she remain herself if she keeps changing herself and her
life in order to serve the superficial, image-obsessed world of
The movie does take a few cheap short-cuts I didn’t care
for, specifically Simon Baker returning as a hunky
potential love interest and perhaps even an ideal match for the
nu-Andrea. There’s the pre-makeover scene which was so blatant
you could see the lightbulb over Hathaway’s noggin, followed
by the typical nu-protagonist showing off her nu-her montage. If
you’ve seen one, you’ve ’em all.
There aren’t enough chick-flicks as tolerable as this one
is. It’s a step in the right direction, but when Hollywood
does that, it’s usually after taking several steps backward.
—Jeffrey “The Vile One” Harris