Diary of an old cheeser

Hi there! Like other blogs, this is my chance to wax lyrical (some might say talk utter cr*p) about a) what's happening in my life b) all of my pet obsessions in particular music, tv, movies, books and other generally connected things, quite often of the retro, old and "cheesy" variety. Hence the title of my blog. Feel free to leave a comment if the mood takes you. There's nothing like a good chinwag about one's favourite topics and besides I love to meet new people! Cheers, Simon

Monday, July 23, 2007

That's all.

After a fun and karaoke-infused weekend we rounded off our Sunday watching the movie of “The Devil Wears Prada”. Perfect for slouching in front of the TV. I’d been wanting to see “Devil” for some time, although had reservations that it wouldn’t be as good as the book. Well, I was mostly wrong and I enjoyed it a lot! Whilst the film does take a few (small) liberties with the original story it was still entertaining and well done. Anne Hathaway was good as Andy (Andrea), managing to successfully portray the difficulties facing someone wanting to get ahead in the world of journalism/fashion whilst retaining her sense of self, but gradually selling out in the process and f*cking over her family, mates and boyfriend at the same time (even if unknowingly).

Even better was Meryl Streep as arch-bitch editor of Runway magazine, Miranda Priestly. A totally excellent performance from Ms Streep. I used to find old Mezzer kind of irritating and neurotic in some of her other roles, but ironically these qualities are a virtue in this film and make Miranda such a compellingly horrid character. The supercilious, totally impersonal and cold way in which she treats all of her staff. The constant round of chores and menial tasks that she makes Andy carry out. Her bitchy putdowns about Andy’s dress sense. And her signal that all conversation is now over: “That’s all”. (I loved the way she delivered this line – totally f*cking cold and dismissive). One of my gripes about the book was that we didn’t get any ultimate insight into why Miranda was made the way she was, not even at the conclusion. By contrast, the film does try to redress this – there’s a very good scene toward the end, when Miranda and Andy are both in Paris for an all-important fashion show. Miranda tells Andy that her husband, due to attend, now won’t be coming as they’re getting divorced. She looks tired and haggard, without make-up - a symbolic mask? - and confesses that she’s lost husbands before. For one minute her guard is down and she seems lost and vulnerable – actually quite moving stuff! Then the mask snaps back into place and Miranda is in work mode once again. The successful career woman can’t stay weak for long.

The ending was slightly different to the book too – SPOILERS AHEAD! In the film version, Andy quits her job by throwing her personal organizer/phone into a fountain, when Miranda brings her to the realization that she’s royally screwed her workmate Emily, in order to attend the esteemed fashion show in Paris (it was Emily’s dream to go and originally she had first refusal). In the book, Andy says “F*ck you” to Miranda after having to bow to one too many of her demands and finally snaps, walking out of her job and flying back to the US. I’m not sure which conclusion I prefer. I personally reckon that a combination of both might have been more effective. There was also a wee bit too much of the phantom “Hollywood sugaring the pill” syndrome at the end when we find out that Miranda actually told Andy’s prospective new employer that he would be “an idiot” not to hire her. Would such an uncaring monster of a former employer REALLY have done that? There then follows a scene where Andy and Miranda see each other across the street – Miranda stands there glaring at her in typical icy fashion before getting into her chauffeured car, whilst Andy nods, waves and smiles and then walks on. Then, inside her car we actually see Miranda crack a smile! Ye Gods!! The collective message being that even the most seemingly inhuman person has their emotional chinks and moments of sensitivity and kindness. And that on some level, Miranda actually respects Andy! Mmm. Reassuring I guess but also a bit of a cop-out? As I said, Hollywood always wants to sweeten the bitter pill.

I also thought that some of the fashions and clothes worn by the cast looked totally fabulous! Meryl Streep has about 50 coats (which all get simultaneously chucked on poor Andy’s desk) of various shapes and styles. And although Andy’s transformation into a designer label wearing lackey isn’t meant to sit entirely comfortably, some of her outfits really do look great. Maybe I shouldn’t say it, but decent clothes really can make a difference.

Oh and Emily Blunt who plays Emily, Andy’s fellow co-worker and general office sour-puss, is also a bit of a revelation - a great performance - and has an assortment of fab clothes. I loved her blue eye shadow and matching blue attire in one scene.

And that's all.

2 Comments:

  • At 12:03 am , Blogger Salty Sailor said...

    I watched this on a flight from London to Dubai last year and wasn't that impressed. I expected to love it but maybe the small size of the screen and the engine noise ruined it a bit.

    I don't think I'll ever like that Hathaway woman since she kissed Jake in Brokeback. Lucky bitch.

     
  • At 1:42 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    It was better than I expected. Still a little bit more compromised than the book tho. I just thought Meryl Streep was great. Such a total bitch. A friend of a friend who used to work in the City said that apparently Meryl's character was a pussy cat compared to some of the people she knew there. Nice thought eh.

    Aaah yes I forgot about Anne H being in that movie - she was excellent I thought. Loved her trashy blonde look and she was very kind of controlled/embittered at the end. Well wouldn't you be if your husband had been gay-bashed to death?

     

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