My Sunday night started off like most others. After forcing myself to finish all the homework I procrastinated on, I pulled out my laptop and began to scroll through Hulu in search of a romantic comedy to brighten my mood. It wasn't long before my mouse hovered over "The Devil Wears Prada." Sure, I'd watched it already, but how could I ignore this Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway classic?
For those who haven't watched "The Devil Wears Prada," this movie tells the story of the newly graduated Andy Sachs (Hathaway) who is looking for an opportunity to prove herself as a journalist. After struggling to find a suitable job, she finally lands the position of assistant to Miranda Priestly (Streep), editor of a high-end fashion magazine.
While a thousand girls would kill for her job, Andy finds herself having quite a difficult time understanding the ins and outs of the fashion world. Unwilling to back down, Andy works harder and eventually becomes accustomed to life at Runway. She is now fierce and fashionable, but along the way, she becomes distant from close friends and family, with work taking over her life. At the end of the movie, she gives up her budding career in order to regain the persona that she lost as a result of her job.
When I first watched "The Devil Wears Prada" a few years back, I immediately antagonized Meryl Streep's character. Who was she to treat Andy like a slave, keeping her from having a life outside of work? Andy was being sucked into a world she didn't want to be a part of, and there was no way out. Her friends couldn't even recognize her anymore, and her boyfriend no longer liked the girl he was dating. It all stemmed back to Miranda Priestly.
I mean, it was all her, wasn't it? Except it wasn't. Maybe it's that I'm older and therefore a little wiser, but I immediately began to see the flaws in my previous theory. First of all, Andy is no victim in this situation. To say that she was subjected to the events that precipitated around her would be a fallacy. Andy knew what she was signing up for when she decided to work for one of the top fashion magazines in the country. Integrating herself into the fashion world would be a must, and of course, that would come with a little bit of change.
As the editor, Miranda had to be strict and her expectations from Andy, while sometimes unreasonable, should have been anticipated. If she truly didn't want the job, she could have quit way earlier than she did. Furthermore, Miranda was not the sole reason that Andy changed. She made the decision to take Emily's place for the Paris trip on her own, and she couldn't pretend that it was because she didn't have a choice. There is always a choice to make, and Andy chose those that would further her career.
But it wasn't only Andy that had major character flaws in this movie. It wasn't long before I began to hate Andy's boyfriend and friends. While none of them are happy at their current positions, they have no problem judging Andy for her career choices. Suddenly, the fashion industry is too good for them, and they'll only appreciate her career when Andy provides them with free samples. Talk about ungrateful.
Her friends are set on this idea that Runway has changed Andy into someone they don't recognize. I mean, relax with the melodramatics. They couldn't possibly expect that she would remain exactly the same after a major life change. Instead of being understanding about her new responsibilities and happy for her success, her friends choose to devalue her job. Her boyfriend even goes as far as to stop talking to her after she misses his birthday because of a work conflict. It's this childish behavior that makes me wonder why Andy chooses her friends over her career.
At the end of the day, Andy realized that Runway was not the right fit for her. While I don't agree with her willingness to maintain relationships with people who couldn't be happy for her success, I have to accept the events of the movie for what they are. Because at the end of the day, it is just a movie. I don't know Andy or Miranda Priestly, and I surely don't know what prompts Andy's boyfriend to be such a jerk. I can only watch and critique and enjoy "The Devil Wears Prada" for what it is.
Hopefully, I didn't ruin the movie for anyone who has yet to watch it. And maybe for those who have, I sparked some thought. But for those who are willing, if you have a night off or are looking for something to pass the time, watch "The Devil Wears Prada" once again and try to look at it with an open mind.