Susan Granger reviews “The Devil Wears Prada”

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Sophisticated comedies are rarely Oscar-contenders but, if they were, put this at the top of the list. Based on Lauren Weisberger’s juicy roman-a-clef about her year as Anna Wintour’s personal assistant at Vogue, it slices and dices Manhattan’s fashionistas.

Recent Northwestern grad, Andrea “Andy” Sachs (Anne Hathaway), a fashion-challenged aspiring journalist, has a devoted boyfriend Nate (Adrian Grenier) and bright group of friends when she lands the coveted job of junior personal assistant to shrewd Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), the tyrannical, workaholic editor of haute couture’s Runway magazine. With a sleek wardrobe/hair/make-up make-over by Miranda’s art director (Stanley Tucci) and much to the surprise of the senior assistant (Emily Blunt), naïve Andy not only survives frosty Miranda’s sadistic streak but, miraculously, satisfies her outrageous whims and demands, even finding a bootleg copy of the unpublished manuscript of J.K. Rowling’s new Harry Potter book for Miranda’s twins. But success requires sacrifices. So Andy faces some difficult personal and professional choices. Screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna (”Laws of Attraction”) has upped the emotional ante by humanizing Miranda, along with eliminating several of the book’s secondary characters, and director David Frankel (”Sex and the City”) peppers the pace with flashy fashion montages. Thanks to super stylist Patricia Field, it’s a glossy, glamorous Valentino, Chanel, Donna Karan, Bill Blass, Galliano and, of course, Prada spectacle.While Anne Hathaway glows with sweetness and beauty, Meryl Streep’s diabolical rudeness is hilarious. Her vicious barbs are like a stiletto through the ribs. There’s splendid support from Stanley Tucci and Emily Blunt, yet Adrian Grenier struggles as the blandly underwritten beau. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Devil Wears Prada” is a glitzy if treacherous 10. It may be the funniest chick-flick you’re likely to see this summer.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.