I am in no way a movie buff, and to think of writing a film review is just beyond me. However, I watched The Devil Wears Prada last night and was stunned how they turned such a good book into such a lacklustre film…
I read The Devil Wears Prada, by Lauren Weisberger a few months ago after picking it up in a charity shop for 50p. (A side note – I love charity shops for buying books. They’re amazing if you don’t mind rumaging through all the crap. Plus it beats paying £7.99 for a full price book!)
I’d heard a lot about the book (and the film) but always dismissed it as some chick-lit rubbish, probably full of idiotic female stereotypes and a dull storyline. But you can’t argue with a 50p book, and so I read it. Everyone loves reading a bit of fluff every now and then. I do, anyway.
I was pleasantly surprised by the book. Lauren Weisberger is a fantastic writer – I’ve read many many books that go down the glamourous PA, fresh out of college in a big city route, and I know it’s hard to get right. Case in point – the book I’m reading now, It Could Be You by Josie Lloyd, is about the same thing and is possibly the worst book I’ve ever read. The Second Assistant, by Mimi Hare and Clare Naylor, is also about the same thing and is a really good book. I thought The Devil Wears Prada was a brilliant book – I finished it within two days, that is always a mark of a good book for me – the speed at which I get through it. I just didn’t want to put it down.
So when I saw that the film version was on TV on Sunday (yes I’m very behind on the times and am only just seeing it) I was thrilled and thought it’d be as good as the book, but … no. It was so dull. They changed so many things – Emily was British, Alex was renamed Nate, Andrea wasn’t Jewish, Lily didn’t have an accident, Andrea didn’t stand up to Miranda at the end and get fired… I was watching it in confusion, thining ‘who is Nate?!’ ‘Why has Emily been struck down by a car?!’
Meryl Streep was quite good as Miranda – for the most part, she was exactly how I imagined her to be. However I don’t think her perfomance quite deserved all the praise it got. She spoke in a manner I thought was far too refined for the character of Miranda, who was supposed to be icy and sassy and snappy and just a general bitch. Streep got the icy bit right but was far off the mark with the others.
I think the problem with the film was that it didn’t have enough time to truly establish how hellish Andrea’s job is. There are so many details in the book that the film completely missed out, details that just make you feel for the character a bit more. Without these details, the film just seems a bit… empty. Which is kind of fitting for a film about fashion, but still, it doesn’t do the book justice at all.