Why am I watching this? 1st edition
("1st edition" means I expect to make similar posts in the future.)
It's Wednesday night, I have plenty of work to keep me busy--a very interesting novel I'm reading--a kitchen half-full of dirty dishes--and yet, here I sit, watching The Devil Wears Prada for the umpteenth time, and I wouldn't even have a problem with this sloth, seeing as I am on vacation, except for one thing.
I hate this movie.
So why am I watching it?
Well, I know that I enjoy Meryl Streep's performance. She, with her divine white wave of hair, is the heroine of the film, as far as I'm concerned. I just watched her cerulean blue smackdown of Anne Hathaway's character, and, as ever, I glowed with pride at her moral superiority. Emily Blunt as the assistant is also way funnier and strangely poignant than the mediocrity of the lines she speaks should allow her to be.
However, I find that this movie has not one other quality which redeems it for me. I don't have any particular feelings about Anne Hathaway, but her character in this movie is such a whiny, entitled brat that I can't suspend disbelief enough to trust that she's a good person (or a good writer).
I also question some of--most of--the internal logic in this movie. First of all, what about being the personal assistant (i.e., bagel-getter) of the editor of a fashion magazine promises "a job with any magazine in the city"? Is this some kind of unofficial rule? What if she puts in her year with the Prada-wearing devil and The New Yorker doesn't want to play ball? "Yeah, but what did you write?"
The supposedly handsome, debonair dude who leads little Annie to stray from her loyal boyfriend? Ewwwwwwww. Greasy-haired baggy-eyed decorative-scarf-wearing sleaze. The conceit that a woman with billions of dollars drinks a $3 latte from Starbucks? (Gee, I wonder if it has anything to do with Starbucks kicking in for the production of the film…?)
Don't even get me started on the clothes. This movie wants me to believe that this
is the height of fashion? A Dickensian newsboy hat, an off-the-shoulder sweater and lady sideburns?
The person who picked out the eyesores that overpopulate this movie is Pat Field, also known as the mental patient who did costumes for Confessions of a Shopaholic:
and who dressed Carrie Bradshaw in these atrocities:
(I tried, but failed, to find the picture of the time Carrie walked down a city street wearing a white lacy slip with a black bra underneath like she was 80s Madonna.)
But mostly, I just find the movie really obnoxiously wrong most of the time. Does taking a job where you’re someone’s assistant mean you’ve sold out? Not necessarily—it’s called paying dues, everybody does it, and the main character needs to not be such a bitch about it. Is fashion important? OK, not in my playbook it’s not, but the otherwise extraneous Stanley Tucci character makes an excellent point at one moment in the movie when he notes that clothing designers are the most famous artists of the 20th century (Pat Field notwithstanding). So maybe the main character needs to calm down about how trivial the whole thing is. The twist of Miranda screwing over Stanley Tucci makes no sense, either; why would the editor of French Vogue (or whatever the fake name of the magazine is) take a job that some underling was going to do?
As for the ending, I don’t care how awful your boss is, how much you’ve compromised your morals (supposedly at her behest, though most of the questionable things the main character does can’t be traced back to the stupid job), if you have been flown to Paris on your boss’s dime, you do not ditch her and throw your company phone into a damned fountain. That's called responsibility.
So now that I’ve expended 500 words talking about why I hate this movie, let’s return to the original question: why am I watching it? Because it’s on? So is Jurassic Park III, and I’m not watching that. Something in this movie draws me in. Maybe it's the uncorrupted version of the storyline: young woman goes to the big city and tries to jump start a career. Maybe I also sort of enjoy the hating process. Our ideals are formed through disagreeing with something we're presented with as truth (and this movie presents the main character's behavior as truth). The movie gives me a chance to bicker and debate with an absent second party, and I do love to debate.
We've already established that I don't watch for the outfits.