Sophisticated comedies are rarely Oscar-contenders but, if they were, put this at the top of the list. Based on Lauren Weisbergers juicy roman-a-clef about her year as Anna Wintours personal assistant at Vogue, it slices and dices Manhattans 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 coutures Runway magazine. With a sleek wardrobe/hair/make-up make-over by Mirandas art director (Stanley Tucci) and much to the surprise of the senior assistant (Emily Blunt), naïve Andy not only survives frosty Mirandas sadistic streak but, miraculously, satisfies her outrageous whims and demands, even finding a bootleg copy of the unpublished manuscript of J.K. Rowlings new Harry Potter book for Mirandas twins.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 books secondary characters, and director David Frankel (Sex and the City) peppers the pace with flashy fashion montages. Thanks to super stylist Patricia Field, its a glossy, glamorous Valentino, Chanel, Donna Karan, Bill Blass, Galliano and, of course, Prada spectacle.While Anne Hathaway glows with sweetness and beauty, Meryl Streeps diabolical rudeness is hilarious. Her vicious barbs are like a stiletto through the ribs. Theres 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 youre likely to see this summer.