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July 03, 2006 - Image 11

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2006-07-03

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, July 3, 2006 - 11
A 'Devil' in an
(ugly) blue dress

By Mary Kate Varnau
Daily Arts Writer
We've all seen the trailer where
Meryl Streep curtly tells Anne
athaway "You have no style nor
any sense of fashion."
Enough already. "The Devil Wears
Prada," you have nowhere to talk.
In the movie, legendary fashion
editor Miranda Priestley (Meryl
Streep, "A Prairie Home Compan-
'on") takes on
a new assistant. The Devil
Anne Hathaway Wears Prada
Mountain") At the State
plays the fash- Theater, Showcase
ion-lax, North- and Quality 16
western graduate 20th Century Fox
Andy Sachs,
who's come to New York hoping for
a break in the journalism industry.
Andy bends over backward trying
to accommodate the schedule of her
new job, accepting the criticism,
overtime and verbal abuse that
comes with it. Eventually she real-
izes she'll have to change her pri-
orities entirely if she's to fit into the
lifestyle - and the clothes - that
the position will require.
First things first: the fashion.
Wow I'm no glamazon, but I am a
closet Blahnik enthusiast, and I
can appreciate a de la Renta when
I see one. So you can imagine a girl
like me walking into the theater,

believing the movie promised to be
better eye candy than "Superman
Returns." But alas, the costuming is
sadly remiss, as uninspired as it is
out of touch with any approximation
of good taste.
Most of Hathaway's wardrobe is
a combination of unflattering and
gaudy. There's a particular day (a
day where, unfortunately for all
involved, several scenes take place)
when she sports a horrible brown
sack of a dress with a big, ugly
brown belt wrapped empire-style
around her waist. And there's a brief
moment at the beginning of one of
the Paris scenes where we get a foot
shot - with a toe ring.
That's right, a toe ring.
Let's just hope the gofugyourself.
corm girls don't see the movie. We'll
never hear the end of it.
Of course, the grand "unveiling"
scene also comes full circle, where
the ugly duckling is fantastically
reborn. I'm glad we can now depend
on Anne Hathaway for the before-
and-after unveiling scene in all of
her films.
But that vest? That's what the
fashion consultants came up with
for the big presentation?
For a film that's supposed to be
all about the brutal edge of the fash-
ion industry, the costuming is spec-
tacularly lackluster.
The acting, however, is quite the
opposite, not that that will come as
a surprise to anyone.
Meryl Streep is the shit. We all

"Hmm, one's an inny and one's an outy."

know it - it's what everyone talks
about in that hushed, awed tone as
they walk out of the theater after
seeing one of her movies. She adds
something (in some cases, every-
thing) to each of her films, be they
independents like her most recent
"A Prairie Home Companion" or
cookie-cutter Hollywood comedra-
mas like "Prime." She imbues them
all with an artistic validity and a
sense of panache unequaled by any
other actor of our time.
It's true, and it's great. But it's
becoming boring.
Yes, she's brilliant. We get it.

It's a big, unfair force that pulls the
whole film up more notches than it
deserves. Without her, what have we
really got? It's technically sound
and visually pleasing, but that isn't
enough to make it a good movie. The
material, though capable of passing
humor, just doesn't click.
"The Devil Wears Prada" clocks
in at a "scant" hour and 40 minutes.
Given the subject matter, and the
feeling that most films nowadays
border on the three hour mark, one
would think that the 100 minutes
would breeze by.
No dice.

While the screenplay is solid in
a conventional sense - the film
begins and ends with the standard
flourishes - the plot is more hei-
nously predictable than your stan-
dard Mary-Kate and Ashley movie.
The film drags on through the mid-
dle, and generally, it just isn't an
easy-watching experience.
In sensibility, it's sort of "The Prin-
cess Diaries" meets "Adaptation,"
without the carefree or intense view-
ing pleasure of either. The time has
passed when Streep can bring a movie
home by herself, and on its own, the
film is dead in the water.

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