During filming of Lauren Weisberger’s chick-lit morality tale, there was whispered gossip that Anna Wintour, the Vogue editrix and generally acknowledged inspiration for the titular demoness, threatened to ban any fashion labels who provided clothes for the film. Judging by the luscious array worn by Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep, this was, like half of what is published in the celebrizines, false. And thank god for that, as the gorgeous frocks and accessories that so flatter the enviable bodies on screen are one of the movie’s major delights.
The narrative is simple, a fable told in countless contexts and settings throughout literary history: Andy Sachs (Hathaway) is a well-intentioned college graduate — the editor-in-chief of her college newspaper — who hopes to enter the high profile world of New York journalism. With a sensible haircut and Marshall sales rack wardrobe, she has never seen a sample sale in her life. When a Human Resources joke lands her a position at Runway magazine, working for Miranda Priestley, the most feared, powerful woman in fashion, (a silver-haired Streep, resembling Glenn Close’s Cruella DeVille) she is unceremoniously mocked by the perfectly kempt, underfed staff (including a bitchy Stanley Tucci as the flaming art director and a hilarious Emily Blunt as Pierson’s head assistant).
After a montage of pratfalls, Andy transforms into a perfectly tamed fashionista, always at the ready with a latte in one hand, and the unpublished Harry Potter book (for the twins) in the other. Yet, success has its costs, and, being a woman, it is impossible for Andy to maintain both a career and relationship, having sold her soul to couture. Though the narrative is predictable, the players are perfect, with Streep consistently funny and Hathaway projecting the perfect combination of naivety and intelligence. Though satirizing an inherently ridiculous world is not the most difficult of comedic jobs, Devil does so joyfully, resulting in a film that might not be original, but is undoubtedly entertaining.