VIDEO: The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

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In this episode: fashion, entry-level jobs, entitlement, ambition, the impeccable Miranda Priestly, and the price of success. Also: Anne Hathaway, impractical shoes, and how to get fired from NerdQuest.

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  • MichaelANovelli

    Valid points, all. I just hated the anti-young people message of the film…

  • Moppet

    I adore this movie, and recognize your points are valid. The movie tries to pass off a betrayal, that isn’t at all. The real betrayal does happen, but it’s less a point of integrity, and more of what has to be done to maintain one’s position. The idea that going to Paris in place of another, as a betrayal, in the given context doesn’t make sense unless it’s a real betrayal one the character herself orchestrates. In a way the characters in the movie seem to be reacting to something that should have happened, but that someone didn’t want to write in out of fear of rendering the character beyond relation. Yet, why, the actual betrayal later goes off, a man who works hard is denied the fruits of his labor and quite intentionally in favor of what needs to be done to maintain a position.

    Do we dislike this person who orchestrated the very real betrayal? Is she beyond the ability for the audience to relate to?

    No.

    In fact her reasoning behind the decision, the character’s actions throughout… are very relatable. Relatable because we do have to make professional decisions, at times, the screw other people over. We have to choose X number of people to hire out of the larger amount of people. On that decision some people get a job, and others don’t. It may cruel, but these are decisions real people have to make.

    Through our decisions we can rise in power, and allow another to benefit from the, sometimes cruel, things we’ve had to do to rise above and beyond. Our character in the Devil Wears Prada benefits from this, as you say. I’m not sure this… benefit, however, is actually to her benefit. Yes, she gets to do what she wants, gets a job she wants… but did she really learn anything about those hard choices we have to make? Did she only see how it benefits her? Did she really understand the sacrifices made over the course of a life to put someone in a position that benefited her? Will she be able to pass on this knowledge to her children?

    Does a third wave benefiting from the sacrifices of the past really benefit it, or the future lives it brings forth? Or does it forget what those sacrifices are, and what they mean, and its children go from simply benefiting to feeling entitled. We’re talking a new brand of pride here. Not one built on conquering all other sins prior, but a brand of pride that has conquered nothing. “This is mine because I am.” Rather than, “This is mine because someone made sacrifices to give to me” and rather than, “This is mine because I overcame and struggled and sacrificed for it.”

    The answer is that nothing is mine. No matter how much I or another struggle, or how much falls in my lap, nothing is mine. I deserve nothing, and what I earn I am still lucky to have because there are people that struggle and work their whole lives… but still get less than I, or, worse yet, nothing at all for all their effort. We are owed nothing. Nothing is ours. But we can still do our best to pass on the understanding required to live with that fact, and maybe, just maybe, be in a position to benefit ourselves or others.

    Sometimes that means being cruel, not malicious, just sadly cruel because life and people are not perfect. Sometimes you give a person a job, knowing that five other people aren’t going to get one because of that. Sometimes you screw over a hard working employee, never giving them that promotion they’ve worked so hard for, in order to do something for the company that keeps it going, that may not make your employees more money… but makes sure that their job still exists.

    A little sad, even cruel, but wholly necessary. It’s not fair, but fair is quite the illusion, even a delusion at times.

    I like movies, and books, that make me think. Even if what they make me think of… makes me a little sad at times.

  • The_Stig

    Does anybody else get a naughty librarian vibe from Ursa or am I confusing reality with porn again?

    Just kidding. Love ya, Jill!

    • danbreunig

      Could that confusion be the result of the joint review with Porny this summer?

      For me, I get more of a witty benevolent schoolmarm vibe.

  • Alexa

    Truthfully this movie rubbed me the wrong way when I first watched it. Don’t get me wrong I thought Meryl Streep was great, as always, but how the film expresses the fashion industry is creating art, a speech done by Stanley Tucci, and thus they’re an important industry because they are doing such really annoyed me. I mean yes I am not fashion savvy, but I do understand the importance of appearance, on the other hand I don’t agree that anyone should feel they are above people because they are creating stuff that people pay attention more to then other things. I can respect their work and their efforts and if that’s what they like to do, awesome, but don’t act high and mighty because you’re doing this, its pretty annoying. But the other points that you made in your video did help me see the film in a different light, and really my problem with the film has a lot to do with my own issues with industries like the fashion world. Nothing wrong with putting up with a job that is hard, but I won’t put up with people who feel they’re above everything else because they’re part of a world that is paid more attention to than others.

    P.S. You should also watch the documentary about Vogue and Anna Wintour called The September Issue, that’s pretty interesting as well.