The Devil Wears Prada

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:46 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

The Devil Wears Prada
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci, Emily Blunt
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: 2006
Kiddie Movie: Younger girls, okay. Younger boys, only if they’ve hit puberty.
Date Movie: It’s a dudette flick, with some things dudes might like.
Gratuitous Sex: Anne Hathaway in a nice bra and models in skimpy outfits.
Gratuitous Violence: Nah.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Quite a few chuckles.
Memorable Scene: Miranda’s diatribe to Andy about the trickle down of high fashion and how it ends up being the color of Andy’s boring sweater.
Memorable Quote: Miranda’s constantly dismissive “That’s all.”
Directed By: David Frankel

I really liked “The Devil Wears Prada.” There, I said it. It’s out of the way. I’m a guy and I really liked “The Devil Wears Prada.” But before I get to my reasons why, let me give you a quick rundown of the movie…

Anne Hathaway is Andrea, a.k.a. Andy. She’s fresh out of college and living in sin with her boyfriend, Nate (Adrian Grenier), in New York City. Andy wants to be a writer, but in the meantime she just needs a job and finds herself in an interview at Runway, a super-de-duper fashion magazine with Miranda Frost (Meryl Streep) at the helm. From the get-go we instantly find that Miranda is a tyrant of a boss, yet everyone still wants to work for her because working, and doing a decent job for Runway, and more important, a decent job for Miranda, can lead to more advancement opportunities than might be humanly possible. Miranda sees something in Andy that Andy doesn’t even realize she has, and suddenly Andy finds herself as the Second Assistant to one of the most important women in fashion. And Andy has a lot to learn, and in about an hour of a movie, she learns it all.

At first Andy is content with her, at least in the fashion world, bland clothing, but she quickly learns the importance of fashion, in even her bland life. Andy also learns that some people honestly think they should be able to be flown out of Florida when a hurricane is bearing down on the area, and it will be your fault because you couldn’t find a pilot with a plane willing to fly in deadly weather. And Andy’s lessons continue to come, like looking good on the outside can help you look good on the inside, especially when your bra is a little more naughty looking. Andy keeps learning things, eventually finding out she has become more similar to Miranda than she ever wanted to be. Life’s lessons are learned for Andy, she realizes the woman she wants to be, and Miranda, in the end, seems proud of Andy, even though Miranda seems to know that she is the bitch she will always be.

There is so much in this movie that I don’t want to give away, but as a dude, seeing what portrays itself as a dudette-flick, I have to give some things away, so let me get down to reasons why I really liked “The Devil Wears Prada.” Movie story aside, performances aside, this movie is about fashion, and the dudettes in this movie, from Andrea to Miranda, are smoking hot, especially in their fashion ways. Fine, Miranda is an older dudette, but she looks fine, and me being me, Andrea was still my type when she was dressing in lowly fashions, even more my type in high fashion, and all of the other dudettes were hot because they always dressed their part. Then there was the story. Andrea is looking for a job as a journalist – that is what she has always done, but the important thing to her is that she has always done her job well. At Runway she’s not a journalist, but the “pride in her job” thing hits her square in the head in one scene, and she realizes she needs to become immersed in the job to do it well because she knows she can, and she does. But Andrea, at first, doesn’t realize the sacrifices she is making in her personal life, and by the end of the movie, she loves the world she is in, but doesn’t love the world she has to be in to be there. Wow, that’s sort of deep. The other side of this coin is Miranda. As a boss she is a terror, but if you can adapt, you live with it because she is at the top of the ladder, and if you want to get there, she is one of them to learn from, at least in the business she is in. But in the end, hot dudettes and the story aside, this movie was about performances, and for me it was perfectly cast, and I will keep it to the main three folks, Miranda, Andy, and Nigel, mostly because otherwise this review will go on way too long.

Starting with Nigel, played by Stanley Tucci, he if sort of the comic element in the movie, but really he deals with Miranda because he knows how to, does a fantastic job at his job, and sees that his platform to independence will come by his working at Runway. But he has a soft spot for Andy and explains to her the inner workings of life at a fashion magazine, and Andy lets him help her to learn the ins and outs. In a sort of touching scene, you can see how proud Nigel is of his student when she has lost some weight and learned how to dress herself in the world she has found herself in. Next up is Anne Hathaway as Andrea/Andy. She comes into the world kind of homely, realizes what she needs to do in order to do her job well, and learns that she has two paths left in her world at one time: Become the next Miranda, or go back to being a journalist. Whatever path she chooses, she sure looked fantastic in the high-fashion clothes.

But the reason to see “The Devil Wears Prada,” and nothing against everyone else in the film, comes down to Meryl Streep as Miranda. Miranda is a bitch, and you get the sense that she really knows she is, yet she doesn’t care because in the world she is in, she can’t afford not to be, and Meryl Streep plays this to the top of the bitch level. She hires Andy yet cuts her down at any moment she can, she has her staff, yet cuts them down at any moment she can, and even when the movie gets her to a point where you think Miranda might have human emotions, she quickly gets rid of them and gets right back to business. This is what she does, and she knows it. But there were two scenes that typified Miranda’s character. The first is a fantastic explanation to Andy about the color of Andy’s sort of plain-jane sweater after Andy can’t tell the difference between two high-fashion belts, and the other scene is when Miranda reveals to Andy that as disgusted as Andy was with an action of Miranda’s, that Andy, in fact, had done the same thing. Meryl Streep accomplished these points with utter perfection, and I can’t see many other slightly older actresses being able to pull it off. I have a new-found appreciation for the actress that is Meryl Streep, especially between this movie and the recent “A Prairie Home Companion.”

I can’t give you a hint if you will like “The Devil Wears Prada” for this review because there are way too many elements that might like lead you to liking this movie. If you like a hard-ass boss, Meryl Streep is the hardest-ass I’ve seen in a while as Miranda. If you like a movie about finding what is important in your life, Anne Hathaway does a great job at the dudette who finds out she is changing into someone she doesn’t really want to be. If you like a movie with hot dudettes, and just want to stare for most of the movie, this one’s not bad either.

Look, this movie review has gotten way too long already, so I’m just going to say again that I really liked “The Devil Wears Prada.” With that, it’s 4 stars out of 5. Whether it is an inspirational story, a story about a pain in the ass boss, or a movie with hot dudettes, see it for what it’s worth and enjoy it.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

A Prairie Home Companion

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:45 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

A Prairie Home Companion
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Woody Harrelson, L.Q. Jones, Tommy Lee Jones, Garrison Keillor, Kevin Kline, Lindsay Lohan, Virginia Madsen, John C. Reilly, Maya Rudolph, Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Picturehouse Films
Kiddie Movie: They won’t get the jokes and the teens might not like the music.
Date Movie: You’ve both got to appreciate radio variety shows.
Gratuitous Sex: Lots of innuendo.
Gratuitous Violence: Nope.
Action: Nope.
Laughs: Lots of chuckles and some good laughs.
Memorable Scene: Nothing really stands out.
Memorable Quote: It goes something like: “I asked ‘What are you here for?’ ‘Liquor,’ she said, and lick her I did, and I don’t work there anymore.”
Directed By: Robert Altman
Produced By: Robert Altman, Wren Arthur, Joshua Astrachan, Tony Judge, David Levy

I vaguely recollect, as a youngster, going to see a sort of vaudeville/variety show at our local theater, and enjoying it. The music was campy, the characters had, well, character, and it just seemed like a fun time all around. Seeing “A Prairie Home Companion” sort of brought me back to that time, and I had a fun time all around for this movie, except for two old ladies in the audience, but I’ll save that for my blog. Anyway, let’s get to the movie…

I’m not sure of all of the particulars of this movie, nor am I one for much investigative work, but supposedly the movie reflects an actual radio variety show set in the same Fitzgerald Theater in Minnesota. For our movie the radio station has been sold to some dude from Texas, and this will be the last show for “A Prairie Home Companion.” All of the characters, and there is a huge cast of characters, seem to have their own way of dealing with the demise of the only life they’ve know for the last thirty-some years, and we get to see it all, complete with lots of variety-show type music and some mysticism in the fact that this will be the final episode of the show, as well as the final night for some of the characters, thanks to the arrival of Dangerous Woman (Virginia Madsen). The show goes on, the show ends, and life goes on, for most of them.

I know that’s sort of a short synopsis, but the movie doesn’t really seem to have a set “story,” but rather just tries to show the tales of everyone involved in this last performance, and it’s those performances that hold the movie together. First we are introduced to Guy Noir (Kevin Kline). He’s a private investigator who is relegated to security for the show due to the lack of any real work for a private investigator in a Minnesota town. He sets up the story, is quirky thinking Dangerous Woman has a thing for him, and shows that he really isn’t a good private investigator when a cast member dies. Garrison Keillor is G.K. He’s sort of the ringleader for the show, giving the lead-ins for the various acts, voicing the commercials, and even singing along with the various characters at times. Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin play Yolanda and Rhonda Johnson, singing sisters for the show, who spend the night reflecting on how their lives have turned out. The cornballs of the show are Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly as Dusty and Lefty. They are supposed to be a couple of cowboys fresh off the range, turning songs into corny jokes and being risqué. And in a role that shows if she could get out of the dorky film roles she has been stuck in, Lindsay Lohan did a fantastic job as Lola, the daughter of Yolanda, fascinated with suicide and wondering about her own future.

All of our characters intertwine, as we would expect, during the backstage scenes, and it is here where the stories take place. No one can understand why G.K. won’t announce to the audience that this is their last show nor the death of one of the cast, to which G.K. retorts that every show is the last show, and that he doesn’t do eulogies. Yolanda hopes that there might be time at the end for Lola to get on stage, and low and behold there is, and as the movie comes to an end, Dangerous Woman is back, but Guy wonders who she is there for. We don’t find out.

Me, I liked this movie a lot, but you might not, and that’s okay, because this is definitely not a movie for everyone. Pretty much if you hate bluegrass-ish or vaudeville style music, well, you will hate this movie because there is a lot of it present in the movie. And if you want a totally cohesive story, well, you won’t get that from “A Prairie Home Companion” either. But if you’ve ever enjoyed a variety-style show, enjoy a lot of sexual innuendos jokes, and can get through the mysticism part of Dangerous Woman, you will most likely enjoy this movie a lot.

The movie itself was great for me, but what also blew me away was Robert Altman’s, and I guess it was his call, use of mirrors during many of the behind-the-scenes scenes. It gave the movie much different affect, and limited, I suppose, the need to shoot scenes multiple times from multiple angles, allowing all of the characters to feed off of each other for the entire scene with the mirrors enabling their faces to remain in the scene. Okay, that was way to hard to explain, so I’ll just wrap this review by giving “A Prairie Home Companion” 4 ½ stars out of 5. But please, take my warning about the music and jokes appropriately, because I don’t see many middle-of-the-road people for this film. You will either like it or hate it. I liked it.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!