We all have those cultural touchstone movies that we’ve never gotten around to. They’re not good movies, necessarily, but they’re ones that have for whatever reason stuck around in the public consciousness. For me, until last weekend, one of those gaps was The Devil Wears Prada. Meryl Streep going so hard that she got an Oscar nomination for a comedy! Anne Hathaway before everyone hated Anne Hathaway! (And then… started loving Anne Hathaway again? Are we there yet?) The world, meet Emily Blunt! Emily Blunt, meet the world! Stanley Tucci!
And, indeed, all those elements of Prada are excellent. How do I not want to see Meryl Streep silently judging people for 109 minutes? What makes Prada so frustrating is that so many parts of it are so good, that it came so close to being a genuinely brilliant movie.
And then this fucker:
Did you manage to make yourself forget that Andy’s saddled with a completely useless nothing of a boyfriend, Nate (Adrien Grenier), whom she moves to Boston with at the end of the film? Good for you. I haven’t yet, because I only saw the movie a week ago.
In what world was this a good choice, Prada? In what world?!
Nate’s entire fucking point over the span of this movie is to be a little shit about the fact that his girlfriend’s too busy for him now that she’s become Miranda Priestly’s assistant. You’re supposed to feel sorry for him even though he has literally no personality. “Hey, I’m kind of pissed off that you didn’t come to my birthday party,” he does not say, instead choosing to be a passive agressive baby about it before bringing it up later because the plot requires Andy to come to the realization that her job at Runway has turned her into a self-obsessed, petty asshole.
(Which it hasn’t, by the way. Prada kept trying to tell me that drinking the fashion Kool-Aid is turning Andy into Miranda Priestly’s megabitch Mini-Me, but… I don’t see it, to be honest? Miranda’s mean and hella Slytherin, but she’s also a god damned New York media titan. Andy at one point even says that no one would say shit about Miranda’s behavior if she were a man, but that was before the movie hopped in its time machine and took up residence in the 1950s.)
With the exception of Miranda’s right-hand man Nigel (Tucci), the men in The Devil Wears Prada—Nate and Hipster Scarf (Simon Baker)—are complete non-entities. Hipster Scarf at least has a narrative purpose (he’s Andy’s media hookup to get the seventh Harry Potter book), but Nate’s just there because… this is a movie for women, and a movie for women’s gotta have romance in it, I guess? For a movie ostensibly geared towards smart, ambitious, self-reliant women, The Devil Wears Prada sure seems to hate them.
YOU’RE NOT A ROM-COM.
STOP TRYING TO BE A ROM-COM.
Stanley Tucci was the only man I needed in this movie.
Anyway, Andy and Miranda are clearly the ones with all the sexual chemistry. C’mon now.
I further submit to the jury: Andy’s “fashionable” post-transformation clothes.
The mid-2000s weren’t that bad, were they?!
I guess it’s meant to be a comment on how people sometimes wear weird shit under the guise of high fashion? But then Andy rocks some seriously classy LBDs, too. Prada wants to have it both ways: Miranda’s world is chic and aspiratirational and ooh la la, but like it too much, and you’re doomed to live out your life as a loveless, frigid bitch trailing a string of failed marriages. You can’t freak the fuck out about getting one of Miranda’s hand-me-down purses and then bitch Andy out for working for Miranda in the first place, Joanne from Rent! You are a terrible friend! And you need to pay your damn rent.
I am possibly putting too much thought into a movie that is in all honesty just a Streep-and-Tucci talent delivery device. In my defense, I was distracted by Andy’s atrocious taste in newsboy caps.