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The Devil Wears Prada (film)

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The Devil Wears Prada
The Devil Wears Prada main onesheet.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Frankel
Produced by Wendy Finerman
Screenplay by Aline Brosh McKenna
Based on The Devil Wears Prada
by Lauren Weisberger
Starring Meryl Streep
Anne Hathaway
Stanley Tucci
Simon Baker
Emily Blunt
Adrian Grenier
Music by Theodore Shapiro
Cinematography Florian Ballhaus
Edited by Mark Livolsi
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • June 30, 2006 (2006-06-30)
Running time
109 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $41 million[1]
Box office $326.5 million[2]

The Devil Wears Prada is a 2006 American comedy-drama film based on Lauren Weisberger's 2003 novel of the same name. This screen adaptation stars Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly, a powerful fashion magazine editor, and Anne Hathaway as Andrea Sachs, a college graduate who goes to New York City and lands a job as Priestly's co-assistant. Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci co-star, as co-assistant Emily Charlton and art director Nigel, respectively.

Adrian Grenier, Simon Baker, and Tracie Thoms play key supporting roles. Wendy Finerman produced and David Frankel directed the film, which was distributed by 20th Century Fox. Streep's performance drew critical acclaim and earned her many award nominations, including her record-setting 14th Oscar bid, as well as the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical. Blunt also drew favorable reviews and nominations for her performance, as did many of those involved in the film's production.

The film was well received by both film critics and the public and became a surprise summer box-office hit following its June 30 North American release. The commercial success and critical praise for Streep's performance continued in foreign markets with the film leading the international box office for most of October. Likewise, the U.S. DVD release was the top rental during December. The film finished in 2006's Top 20 both in the U.S. and overseas and grossed over $300 million, mostly from its international run.

Although the movie is set in the fashion world, most designers and other fashion notables avoided appearing as themselves for fear of displeasing U.S. Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who is widely believed to have been the inspiration for Priestly. Still, many allowed their clothes and accessories to be used in the film, making it the most expensively costumed film in history.[3] Wintour later overcame her initial skepticism, saying she liked the film and Streep in particular.[4]

Plot[edit]

Andrea (Anne Hathaway) is an aspiring journalist fresh out of Northwestern University. Despite her ridicule for the shallowness of the fashion industry, she lands a job "a million girls would kill for," junior personal assistant to Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), the icy editor-in-chief of Runway fashion magazine. Andy plans to put up with Miranda's excessively demanding and humiliating treatment for one year in hopes of getting a job as a reporter or writer somewhere else.

At first, Andy fumbles with her job and fits in poorly with her gossipy, fashion-conscious co-workers, especially Miranda's senior assistant Emily Charlton (Emily Blunt). However, with the help of art director Nigel (Stanley Tucci), who lends her designer clothes, she gradually learns her responsibilities and begins to dress more stylishly to show her effort and commitment to the position. She also meets attractive young writer Christian Thompson (Simon Baker), who offers to help her with her career. As she spends increasing amounts of time at Miranda's beck and call, problems arise in her relationships with her college friends and her live-in boyfriend Nate (Adrian Grenier), a chef working his way up the career ladder.

Miranda is impressed by Andy and allows her to be the one to bring the treasured "Book," a mock-up of the upcoming edition, to her home, along with her dry cleaning. She is given instructions by Emily about where to leave the items and is told not to speak with anyone in the home. Andy arrives at Miranda's home only to discover that the instructions she received are vague. As she tries to figure out what to do, Andy begins to panic. Miranda's twins (Caroline and Cassidy, played by Colleen and Suzanne Dengel, respectively) falsely tell her she can leave the book at the top of the stairs just as Emily has done on many occasions. At the top of the stairs, Andy interrupts Miranda and her husband having an argument. Mortified, Andy leaves the book and runs out of the home.

The next day, Miranda tells her that she wants the new unpublished Harry Potter book for her daughters and, if Andy cannot find a copy, she will be fired. Andy desperately attempts to find the book, nearly gives up, but ultimately obtains it through Christian's contacts. She surprises Miranda by not only finding the book but having copies sent to the girls at the train station, leaving no doubt that she accomplished Miranda's "impossible" task, thus saving her job. Andy gradually begins to outperform Emily at her job, and slowly but surely becomes more glamorous and begins aligning herself, unwittingly at first, to the Runway philosophy.

One day, Andy saves Miranda from being embarrassed at a charity benefit, and Miranda rewards her by offering to take her to the fall fashion shows in Paris instead of Emily. Andy hesitates to take this privilege away from Emily but is forced to accept the offer after being told by Miranda that she will lose her job if she declines. Andy tries to tell Emily on her way to work. However, Emily is hit by a car and Andy has to break the bad news while visiting her in the hospital.

When Andy tells Nate she is going to Paris, he is angered by her refusal to admit that she's become what she once ridiculed, and they break up. Once there, Miranda, without makeup, opens up to Andy about the effect Miranda's impending divorce will have on her daughters. Later that night, Nigel tells Andy that he has accepted a job as Creative Director with rising fashion star James Holt (Daniel Sunjata) at Miranda's recommendation. Andy finally succumbs to Christian's charms and, after spending the night with him, learns from him about a plan to replace Miranda with Jacqueline Follet as editor of Runway. Despite the suffering she has endured at her boss's behest, she attempts to warn Miranda.

At a luncheon later that day, however, Miranda announces that it is Jacqueline instead of Nigel who will leave Runway for Holt. Nigel remarks to a stunned Andy that, though disappointed, he has to believe that his loyalty to Miranda will one day pay off. Later, when Miranda and Andy are being driven to a show, she explains to a still-stunned Andy that she was grateful for the warning but already knew of the plot to replace her and sacrificed Nigel to keep her own job. Pleased by this display of loyalty, she tells Andy that she sees a great deal of herself in her. Andy, repulsed, says she could never do that to anyone. Miranda replies that she already did, stepping over Emily when she agreed to go to Paris. When they stop, Andy gets out and throws her cell phone into the fountain of the Place de la Concorde, leaving Miranda, Runway, and fashion behind.

Some time later, Andy meets up with Nate, who is moving to Boston because he got a new job as the sous chef of a restaurant. They agree to start dating again and see what the future holds. The same day, Andy is interviewed and is accepted to work at a major New York publication company. It was Miranda who insisted that they hire Andy, despite that she didn't work for her a full year, but the company would be "the biggest idiots" if they don't. Andy calls Emily and offers her her Paris wardrobe and the two leave on good terms. Andy passes the "Runway" office building and sees Miranda get into a car. Andy gives a wave, but Miranda does not acknowledge her. Andy is used to this and instead walks further into the crowd. Once inside the car, however, Miranda smiles and then orders her chauffeur to drive.

Cast[edit]

Cameos[edit]

Production[edit]

Director David Frankel and producer Wendy Finerman had originally read The Devil Wears Prada in book proposal form.[6] It would be Frankel's second theatrical feature, and his first in over a decade. He, cinematographer Florian Ballhaus and costume designer Patricia Field, drew heavily on their experience in making Sex and the City.

Frankel recalls the whole experience as having high stakes for those involved, since for himself and the others behind the camera it was the biggest project they had yet attempted, with barely adequate resources. “We knew we were on very thin ice," he told Variety for a 2016 article on the film's 10th anniversary. "It was possible this could be the end of the road for us.”[7]

Preproduction[edit]

Fox bought the rights to Weisberger's novel before it was not only published in 2003, but even finished. Carla Hecken, then the studio's executive vice president, had only seen the first hundred pages of manuscript and an outline for how the rest of the plot was to go. But for her that was enough. "I thought Miranda Priestly was one of the greatest villains ever," she recalled in 2016. "I remember we aggressively went in and scooped it up."[7]

Writing[edit]

Work on a screenplay started promptly, before Weisberger had even finished her work. When it became a bestseller upon publication, elements of the plot were incorporated into the screenplay in progress. Most took their inspiration from the 2000 Ben Stiller film Zoolander and primarily satirized the fashion industry. But it was still not ready to film. Elizabeth Gabler, later head of production at Fox, noted that the finished novel did not have a strong narrative. "Since there wasn't a strong third act in the book," she said later, "we needed to invent that.”[7]

In the meantime, the studio and producer Wendy Finerman sought a director. Out of many candidates with experience in comedy, David Frankel was hired despite his limited experience, having only made one feature, Miami Rhapsody, along with some episodes of Sex and the City and Entourage. He was unsure about the property, calling it "undirectable ... a satire rather than a love story."[8] Later, he cited Unzipped, the 1995 documentary about designer Isaac Mizrahi, as his model for the film's attitude towards fashion: "[It] revels in some of the silliness of the fashion world, but is also very serious."[9]

At a meeting with Finerman, Frankel told her that he thought the story unnecessarily punished Miranda. "My view was that we should be grateful for excellence. Why do the excellent people have to be nice?”[7] He prepared to move on and consider more scripts. Two days later his manager persuaded him to reconsider and look for something he liked that he could shape the film into. He took the job, giving Finerman extensive notes on the script and laying out a detailed vision for the film.[8]

Four screenwriters worked on the property. Peter Hedges wrote the first draft, but didn't think he could do more; another writer passed. Paul Rudnick did some work on Miranda's scenes, followed by a Don Roos rewrite.[8] After that, Aline Brosh McKenna, who was able to relate her own youthful experiences attempting to launch a journalism career in New York to the story,[8][10] produced a draft after a month's work that struck the right balance for Finerman and Frankel, whose notes were incorporated into a final version,[7] rearranging the plot significantly, following the book less closely[7] and focusing the story on the conflict between Andrea and Miranda.[11] She found the experience of writing a story with female protagonists that did not center around a relationship "very liberating ... I felt I was allowed to do what the movie wanted to be, a Faust story, a Wall Street for ladies."[8]

McKenna also initially toned down Miranda's meanness at the request of Finerman and Frankel, only to restore it later for Streep.[6] She later cited Don Rickles as her main influence for the insults in the dialogue; before even starting work on the screenplay she had come up with Miranda's "Take a chance. Hire the smart fat girl" line, which she felt summed up the disparity between Andy and the world she found herself in.[12]

McKenna consulted with acquaintances who worked in fashion to make her screenplay more realistic. In a 2010 British Academy of Film and Television Arts lecture, she told of a scene that was changed after one of these reviews, where Nigel told Andy not to complain so much about her job. Originally, she had made his speech more of a supportive pep talk; however one of those acquaintances said that would not happen: "[N]o-one in that world is nice to each other ... There's no reason to be, and they don't have time." she quoted him as saying.[13]

Cerulean sweater speech[edit]

The "cerulean speech",[14] where Miranda draws the connection between the designer fashion in Runway's pages and Andy's cerulean sweater, criticizing Andy's snobbishness about fashion, had its origins in a scene cut from earlier drafts that Streep had asked to have restored. It slowly grew from a few lines where the editor disparaged her assistant's fashion sense to a speech about "why she thought fashion was important ... She is so aware that she is affecting billions of people, and what they pick off the floor and what they are putting on their bodies in the morning."[12] Streep said in 2016 she was interested in "the responsibility lying on the shoulders of a woman who was the head of a global brand ... That scene wasn’t about the fun of fashion, it was about marketing and business."[1]

McKenna recalls that she kept expanding it to suit Streep and Frankel, but even a few days before it was scheduled to be filmed she was unsure if it would used or even shot. She was revising it at a nearby Starbucks when she realized that Miranda would describe something not as just blue—chosen as the color for Andy's sweater since it would work best on screen[12]—but would instead use an exact shade. From a list she sent of shades Streep picked cerulean; the final speech takes up almost a page of the script, long for a mainstream film. "I was like, it'd be cool if half of that ended up in the movie," the writer says. "Every word is in the movie."[15] The references to past designer collections are entirely fictional, McKenna explains, since the speech was written around the sweater's color[12] (however, the Huffington Post later pointed out, designers often take their fashion inspiration from the streets[16]).

The speech has become one of the film's most memorable moments; "Miranda's signature monologue" to The Ringer.[14] "'Cerulean' [has never] sounded more sinister," the Huffington Post wrote in 2016,[16] Liz Jones, former editor of British Marie Claire, said it was "a rare glimpse at the way in which even the most outlandish and extreme exponents of fashion ... influence and enrich all our lives, even if we only ever shop at Marks & Spencer or Gap."[17]

Casting[edit]

Once the script was finished, the filmmakers and Fox focused on getting Meryl Streep to play Miranda; Hacken recalled she was seen as so perfect for the part that no one had discussed any alternatives (although McKenna recalls writing provisional dialogue should the producers have had to settle for another actress).[15] Weisberger, who initially couldn't imagine Streep playing the part, recalled that after seeing her on set it was "crystal clear" that she was perfect for the role.[18]

The news that Streep would meet with Frankel was celebrated at Fox. But while Streep, for her part, knew the movie could be very successful, she felt the pay she was being offered for playing Miranda was "slightly, if not insulting, not perhaps reflective of my actual value to the project." The producers doubled it to around $4 million,[1] and she signed on, allowing Fox to greenlight the film.[7] According to Frankel, Streep saw the film as a chance to "skewer the doyennes of the fashion world." She has three daughters, and as an ardent feminist, felt that fashion magazines "twisted the minds of young women around the world and their priorities. This was an interesting way to get back at them." Also, she said, the film passed the Bechdel test.[1]

She insisted on the scenes where she explains to Andy the connection between the blue sweater she's wearing and the haute couture industry,[15] and the scene where Miranda briefly opens up to Andy, without makeup, about her divorce. "I wanted,” she explained, “to see that face without it protective glaze, to glimpse the woman in the businesswoman.”[7]

Casting Andy was less clear-cut. Fox wanted an A-list younger actress, and felt Rachel McAdams, then coming off successes in The Notebook and Mean Girls, would help the film's commercial prospects. However, she declined several offers to play Andy, telling the studio she was trying to avoid mainstream projects for a while.[7]

Hathaway, by contrast, actively sought the part, tracing "Hire me" in the sand of the Zen garden on Hacken's desk when she talked about the project with the executive. While Frankel liked her enough to not require her to audition, she knew she was not the studio's first choice and had to be patient[7] (other accounts say that she was the only actress considered for the lead).[6] Fox production chief Elizabeth Gabler says the studio did not realize how strong her audience was after the Princess Diaries movies.[1] She took the part to work with Streep, but also due to some personal aspects.[19] She, too, celebrated when she learned she had gotten the part.[7]

Over a hundred actresses had been considered for Emily before one of the casting agents taped Emily Blunt reading some of the lines elsewhere on the Fox lot as she was leaving for her flight to London following her audition for Eragon. Although she read them in her native British accent despite the character being written as American as she is in the novel, Frankel was interested;[7] Finerman liked her for her sense of humor.[11] After the makers of Eragon cast another actress, Frankel called her in the bathroom of "some dive club" in London, where she was consoling herself with her sister. He told her that while he would have cast her just from the tape, the studio wanted to see another audition with her dressed more in character.[7] She insisted on continuing to play the character as British;[20] Both Hathaway and Emily Blunt lost weight for their roles, with Hathaway later recounting that "[she] and I would clutch at each other and cry because we were so hungry."[21] Blunt later denied rumors she did this at the filmmakers' request.[22][23]

Tucci was one of the last actors cast; he agreed to play Nigel only three days before shooting started.[7] The filmmakers reportedly had auditioned Barney's creative director Simon Doonan and E!'s Robert Verdi, both openly gay men highly visible as media fashion commentators, for the part. Verdi would later claim there was no intention to actually hire him and the producers had just used him and Doonan to give whoever they ultimately did cast some filmed research to use in playing a gay character (he would end up with a walk-on part as a fashion journalist in Paris). Tucci claims he was unaware of this: "All I know is that someone called me and I realized this was a great part." He based the character on various people he was acquainted with, insisting on the glasses he ultimately wore.[24] Daniel Sunjata had originally read for Tucci's part, rather unenthusiastically since he had just finished playing a similar character, but then read the Holt part and asked if he could audition for it. Simon Baker auditioned by sending a video of himself, wearing the same self-designed green jacket he has on when he and Andrea meet for the first time.[25]

Weisberger is widely believed to have based Miranda on Anna Wintour, the powerful editor of Vogue. Wintour reportedly warned major fashion designers who had been invited to make cameo appearances as themselves in the film that they would be banished from the magazine's pages if they did so.[26] Vogue and other major women's and fashion magazines have avoided reviewing or even mentioning the book in their pages. Wintour's spokespeople deny the claim,[26] but costume designer Patricia Field says many designers told her they did not want to risk Wintour's wrath.[3]

Only Valentino, who had designed the black gown Streep wears in the museum benefit scene, chose to make an appearance.[26] Coincidentally, he was in New York during production and Finerman dared Field, an acquaintance, to ask him personally. Much to her surprise, he accepted.[27] Other cameos of note include Heidi Klum as herself and Weisberger as the twins' nanny.[28] Streep's daughter's film debut as a barista at Starbucks was cut.[29] Gisele Bündchen agreed to be in the movie only if she did not play a model.[25]

Filming[edit]

Hathaway between takes while shooting a scene in Midtown Manhattan

Principal photography took place over 57 days in New York and Paris between October and December 2005.[25] The film's budget was $41 million.[1] It was originally lower, which caused problems with some locations—the crew could not get permission to shoot at the Museum of Modern Art or Bryant Park.[7]

Ballhaus, at Finerman and Frankel's suggestion, composed as many shots as possible, whether interiors or exteriors, to at least partially take in busy New York street scenes in the background, to convey the excitement of working in a glamorous industry in New York. He also used a handheld camera during some of the busier meeting scenes in Miranda's office, to better convey the flow of action, and slow motion for Andrea's entrance into the office following her makeover. A few process shots were necessary, mainly to put exterior views behind windows on sets and in the Mercedes where Miranda and Andrea are having their climactic conversation.[25]

Fox originally refused permission to let Frankel shoot some scenes from the third act in Paris, where it is set, due to the low budget. But after six "nightmarish"[1] weeks of shooting, he had an editor cut a "sizzle reel" of highlights. That convinced the studio to increase the budget to allow for limited shooting overseas (Streep did not go as Fox believed it would be too expensive).[7]

Acting[edit]

Several weeks after all the major parts had been cast, the actors gathered in New York for a table read. Hathaway was nervous and goofy, she recalls, since she still had not developed her idea of the part; she described her performance at that point as "[nothing] particularly impressive." Blunt, by contrast, found Streep's laugh relaxed her enough to keep her focused on playing a nervous, distracted Emily. The highlight of the session was Streep's first line as Miranda. Instead of the "strident, bossy, barking voice" everyone expected, Hathaway says, Streep silenced the room by speaking in a near whisper. "It was so unexpected and brilliant." At the reading Streep also changed Miranda's last line to "everybody wants to be us" from the original "me".[7]

Streep made a conscious decision not to play the part as a direct impression of Wintour,[30] right down to not using an accent and making the character American rather than English ("I felt it was too restricting").[20] "I think she wanted people not to confuse the character of Miranda Priestly with Anna Wintour at all," said Frankel. "And that's why early on in the process she decided on a very different look for her and a different approach to the character."[6] The "that's all,"[31] "please bore someone else ..."[32] catchphrases; her coat-tossing on Andrea's desk[33] and discarded steak lunch[34] are retained from the novel. Streep prepared by reading a book by Wintour protégé Liz Tilberis and the memos of Vogue editor Diana Vreeland. She lost so much weight during shooting that the clothes had to be taken in.[30]

During the movie's press tour she also said her performance as Miranda was inspired by different men she knew, but did not say which ones. In 2016 she disclosed to Variety that she took Miranda's soft speaking style from Clint Eastwood: "He never, ever, ever raises his voice and everyone has to lean in to listen, and he is automatically the most powerful person in the room." However, she said, Eastwood does not make jokes, so instead she modeled that aspect of the character on theatrical and film director Mike Nichols. whose delivery of a cutting remark, she said, made everyone laugh, including the target. "The walk, I’m afraid, is mine,” Streep added.[7]

For Miranda's actual look, Streep looked to two women. The bouffant hairstyle was inspired by model and actress Carmen Dell'Orefice ,[a] which Streep said she wanted to blend with "the unassailable elegance and authority of [French politician] Christine Lagarde." The costumes Field designed for that look resulted in numerous blown takes during the montage where Miranda repeatedly throws her overcoat on Andrea's desk when she arrives in the morning.[7] When McKenna saw Streep as Miranda for the first time on set, she recalls being so terrified she threw her arm in front of Frankel "like we were in a car wreck."[12]

Hathaway prepared for the part by volunteering for a week as an assistant at an auction house where she was "put through the wringer" according to Weisberger, who adds that Hathaway supplemented that by asking her many questions about working for Wintour.[18] Frankel recalls that she was nervous through most of the shooting, particularly when working late, since Raffaello Follieri, her boyfriend at that time, preferred strongly that she not do so;[7] she was also having health issues due to a cyst.[1] The director said she was "terrified" before starting her first scene with Streep, who had begun her working relationship with Hathaway by saying first "I think you're perfect for the role and I'm so happy we're going to be working on this together" then warning her that was the last nice thing she would say.[35] Streep applied this philosophy to everyone else on set as well, keeping her distance from the cast and crew members unless it was necessary to discuss something with them.[25]

Streep is the one who suggested the editorial meeting scene, which does not advance the plot but shows Miranda at work without Andrea present.[36] It was also her idea that Miranda not wear makeup in the scene where she opens up to Andrea and worries about the effect on her daughters of her divorce becoming public knowledge.[6] Blunt, for her part, contributed the line where she tells Andy "I'm hearing this", while opening and closing her hand, "and I want to hear this" keeping it closed. In 2015 she told Howard Stern that she had overheard a mother saying that to a child in a supermarket during production.[37]

Costuming[edit]

Frankel, who had worked with Patricia Field on his feature-film debut Miami Rhapsody as well as Sex and the City, knew that what the cast wore would be of utmost importance in a movie set in the fashion industry. "My approach was to hire her and then leave the room," he joked later.[38] While only Valentino Garavani appeared onscreen, many other designers were helpful to Field. Her $100,000 budget for the film's costumes was supplemented by help from friends throughout the industry. Ultimately, she believes, at least $1 million worth of clothing was used in the film, making it one of the most expensively costumed movies in cinema history.[3] The single priciest item was a $100,000 Fred Leighton necklace on Streep.[39]

When Hathaway enters the office after Nigel gives her access to Runway's closet, she is dressed entirely in Chanel. Field explained in 2016 that "I felt Annie Hathaway was a Chanel girl organically, as opposed to let's say a Versace [or Roberto Cavalli] girl." When she called the company to ask for assistance, they were delighted because "they wanted to see Chanel on a young girl to give it another point of view," showing it as a brand for "not just middle-aged women in suits, but youthful and funky."[40] Calvin Klein rounds out Andrea's wardrobe.[41]

Dolce & Gabbana and Calvin Klein helped Field as well, with some contributions from Lebanese designer Georges Chakra.[42] Although Field avoids making Streep look like Wintour, she dresses her in generous helpings of Prada. (By Field's own estimate, 40% of the shoes on Streep's feet are Prada.) Field added that much of the audience would not be familiar with Wintour's look and that "Meryl looks nothing like Anna, so even if I wanted to copy Anna, I couldn't."[3] But, like Wintour and her Vogue predecessor Diana Vreeland, the two realized that Miranda needed a signature look, which was provided primarily by the white wig and forelock she wore as well as the clothes the two spent much time poring over look-books for.[6] "[I]n choosing her wardrobe my idea was that she’s a chief fashion editor, she has her own style," Fields told Women's Wear Daily in 2016. "We’re creating an original character."[43]

Field said she avoided prevailing fashion trends for Miranda during production in favor of a more timeless look based on Donna Karan archives and pieces by Michaele Vollbracht for Bill Blass,[44] a look she describes as "rich-lady clothes."[3] She did not want people to easily recognize what Miranda was wearing.[41]

Emily Blunt in the outfit Field created for her character.

She contrasted Andrea and Emily by giving Andrea a "textbook" sense of style, without much risk-taking, that would suggest clothing a fashion magazine would have on hand for shoots.[3] Blunt, on the other hand was "so on the edge she's almost falling off."[45] For her, Field chose pieces by Vivienne Westwood and Rick Owens to suggest a taste for funkier, more "underground" clothing.[41] After the film's release, some of the looks Field chose became popular, to the filmmakers' amusement.[28][36]

Tucci praised Field's skill in putting ensembles together that were not only stylish but helped him develop his character:

She just sort of sits there with her cigarette and her hair, and she would pull stuff — these very disparate elements — and put them together into this ensemble, and you'd go, "Come on, Pat, you can't wear that with that." She'd say, "Eh, just try it on." So you'd put it on, and not only did it work, but it works on so many different levels — and it allows you to figure out who the guy is. Those outfits achieve exactly what I was trying to achieve. There's flamboyance, there's real risk-taking, but when I walk into the room, it's not flashy. It's actually very subtle. You look at it and you go, "That shirt, that tie, that jacket, that vest? What?" But it works.[24]

He found one Dries van Noten tie he wore during the film to his liking and kept it.[24]

Production design[edit]

After touring some offices of real fashion magazines, Jess Gonchor gave the Runway offices a clean, white look meant to suggest a makeup compact[25] ("the chaste beiges and whites of impervious authority," Denby called it[46]). Miranda's office bears some strong similarities to the real office of Anna Wintour, down to an octagonal mirror on the wall, photographs and a floral arrangement on the desk[47] (a similarity so marked Wintour had her office redecorated after the movie[3]). The magazine itself is very similar to Vogue, and one of the covers on the wall of the office, showing three models, is a direct homage to the August 2004 cover of that magazine.[48]

She even chose separate computer wallpaper to highlight different aspects of Blunt's and Hathaway's character: Paris's Arc de Triomphe on Blunt's suggests her aspirations to accompany Miranda to the shows there, while the floral image on Andy's suggests the natural, unassuming qualities she displays at the outset of her tenure with the magazine. For the photo of Andrea with her parents, Hathaway posed with her own mother and David Marshall Grant.[25] One of the purported Harry Potter manuscripts was later sold at auction for $586 on eBay, along with various clothing used in the film, to benefit Dress for Success, a charity which provides business clothing to help women transition into the workforce.[49]

Products[edit]

Aside from the clothing and accessories, some other well-known brands are conspicuous in the film.

The McGraw-Hill Building, home to Elias-Clarke in the film

Locations[edit]

New York[edit]
  • The McGraw-Hill building on Sixth Avenue was used for the exteriors and lobby of Elias-Clarke's headquarters.
  • The Runway offices are partially corridors in the neighboring Fox building and partially sets.[25]
  • The Elias-Clarke cafeteria is the one at the Reuters office in Manhattan.[25]
  • Nate and Andy's apartment is on the Lower East Side.[28][50]
  • Andy gets on the subway at the Spring Street station and gets off at 51st Street, both on the Lexington Avenue Line.[50]
  • Bubby's,[50] the restaurant Nate works at (and where Andrea, Doug and Lily eat dinner on occasion) is in TriBeCa.[28]
  • The Smith & Wollensky steakhouse and its kitchen were used.[25]
  • The Calvin Klein showroom is used in the deleted scenes.[29]
  • Holt's studio is a loft used by an actual designer.[28]
  • The American Museum of Natural History was used for the exterior of the museum benefit, while the lobby of one of the Foley Square courthouses is used for the interior.[25]
  • The Priestly townhouse is on the Upper East Side and belongs to a friend of Finerman's. It had to be dressed on short notice after another one could not be used.[28]
  • Christian gives Andy the unpublished Harry Potter manuscript at the St. Regis Hotel's King Cole Bar.[50]
  • The Amtrak train the twins are taking is going up the Hudson River at Haverstraw Bay.
  • Streep exits her limousine, supposedly in Paris, at 77th Street and Central Park West.
  • The New York Mirror newsroom where Andrea gets hired at the end of the film is that of the now-defunct New York Sun.[25]
  • The cafe where Andy apologizes to Nate was the Mayrose at 920 Broadway (near the Flatiron Building), which has since closed. On its site is the Brio restaurant.
Paris[edit]

The crew were in Paris for only two days, and used only exteriors. Streep did not make the trip.[6]

Post-production[edit]

Editing[edit]

Mark Livolsi realized, as McKenna had on the other end, that the film worked best when it focused on the Andrea-Miranda storyline. Accordingly, he cut a number of primarily transitional scenes, such as Andrea's job interview and the Runway staff's trip to Holt's studio. He also took out a scene early on where Miranda complimented Andrea. Upon reviewing them for the DVD, Frankel admitted he hadn't even seen them before, since Livolsi didn't include them in any prints he sent to the director.[29]

Frankel praised Livolsi for making the film's four key montages—the opening credits, Miranda's coat-tossing, Andrea's makeover and the Paris introduction—work. The third was particularly challenging as it uses passing cars and other obstructions to cover Hathaway's changes of outfit. Some scenes were also created in the editing room, such as the reception at the museum, where Livolsi wove B-roll footage in to keep the action flowing.[25]

Music[edit]

Composer Theodore Shapiro relied heavily on guitar and percussion, with the backing of a full orchestra, to capture a contemporary urban sound. He ultimately wrote 35 minutes of music for the film, which were performed and recorded by the Hollywood Studio Symphony, conducted by Pete Anthony.[51] His work was balanced with songs by U2 ("City of Blinding Lights", Miranda and Andrea in Paris), Madonna ("Vogue" & "Jump", Andrea's fashion montage & her first day on the job, respectively), KT Tunstall ("Suddenly I See", female montage during opening credits), Alanis Morissette ("Crazy", Central Park photo shoot), Bitter:Sweet ("Our Remains," Andrea picks up James Holt's sketches for Miranda; Bittersweet Faith, Lily's art show), Azure Ray ("Sleep," following the breakdown of her relationship with Nate), Jamiroquai ("Seven Days in Sunny June," Andrea and Christian meet at James Holt's party) among others. Frankel had wanted to use "City of Blinding Lights" in the film after he had used it as a soundtrack to a video montage of Paris scenes he had put together after scouting locations there.[25] Likewise, Field had advocated just as strongly for "Vogue."[41]

The soundtrack album was released on July 11 by Warner Music. It includes all the songs mentioned above (except Madonna's "Jump") as well as a suite of Shapiro's themes. Among the tracks not included is "Suddenly I See," which disappointed many fans.[52] It became popular as a result of the film.

Pre-release and marketing[edit]

Originally intended just to convince Fox to fund some shooting in Paris, Frankel's sizzle reel led the studio to put a stronger marketing push behind the movie. It moved the release date from February to summer, scheduling it as a lighter alternative audiences could consider to Superman Returns at the end of June 2006, and began to position it as an event movie in and of itself.[7]

Two decisions by the studio's marketing department that were meant to be preliminary wound up being integral to promoting the film. The first was the creation of the red stiletto heel ending in a pitchfork as the film's teaser poster. It was so successful and effective, becoming almost "iconic" (in Finerman's words), that it was used for the actual release poster as well. It became a brand, and was eventually used on every medium related to the film—the tie-in reprinting of the novel and the soundtrack and DVD covers as well.[6]

The studio also put together a trailer of scenes and images strictly from the first three minutes of the film, in which Andrea meets Miranda for the first time, to be used at previews and film festivals until they could create a more standard trailer drawing from the whole film. But, again, this proved so effective with early audiences it was retained as the main trailer, since it created anticipation for the rest of the film without giving anything away.[6]

Gabler credits the studio's marketing team for being "really creative". Fox saw the film as "counterprogramming" on the weekend Superman Returns was released. While they knew that the material and Hathaway would help draw a younger female audience that would not be as interested in seeing that film, "[w]e didn’t want it to just seem like a chick flick coming out."[5]

Reception[edit]

The stars of The Devil Wears Prada at the Venice premiere, front row: (left to right) Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, Lisa Tucci and Meryl Streep. Valentino can be seen behind and between Stanley and Lisa Tucci, and Beatrice Borromeo is partly visible to Stanley Tucci's left.

Critical response[edit]

The Devil Wears Prada received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a rating of 75%, based on 185 reviews, with the site's critical consensus reads, "A rare film that surpasses the quality of its source novel, this Devil is a witty expose of New York's fashion scene, with Meryl Streep in top form and Anne Hathaway more than holding her own"[53] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 62 out of 100, based on 40 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[54]

Initial reviews of the film focused primarily on Streep's performance, praising her for making an extremely unsympathetic character far more complex than she had been in the novel. "With her silver hair and pale skin, her whispery diction as perfect as her posture, Ms. Streep's Miranda inspires both terror and a measure of awe," wrote A. O. Scott in The New York Times. "No longer simply the incarnation of evil, she is now a vision of aristocratic, purposeful and surprisingly human grace."[55] Kyle Smith agreed at the New York Post: "The snaky Streep wisely chooses not to imitate Vogue editrix Anna Wintour, the inspiration for the book, but creates her own surprisingly believable character."[56]

David Edelstein, in New York magazine, criticized the film as "thin", but praised Streep for her "fabulous minimalist performance."[57] J. Hoberman, Edelstein's onetime colleague at The Village Voice, called the movie an improvement on the book and said Streep was "the scariest, most nuanced, funniest movie villainess since Tilda Swinton's nazified White Witch [in 2005's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe]."[58]

Blunt, too, earned some favorable notice. "[She] has many of the movie's best lines and steals nearly every scene she's in," wrote Clifford Pugh in the Houston Chronicle.[59] Other reviewers and fans concurred.[60][61] While all critics were in agreement about Streep and Blunt, they pointed to other weaknesses, particularly in the story. Reviewers familiar with Weisberger's novel assented to her judgment that McKenna's script greatly improved upon it.[46][55] A rare exception was Angela Baldassare at The Microsoft Network Canada, who felt the film needed more of the nastiness others had told her was abundant in the novel.[62]

David Denby summed up this response in his New Yorker review: "The Devil Wears Prada tells a familiar story, and it never goes much below the surface of what it has to tell. Still, what a surface!"[46] Reactions to Hathaway's performance were not as unanimous as for many of her costars. Denby said "she suggests, with no more than a panicky sidelong glance, what Weisberger takes pages to describe."[46] On the other hand, according to Baldassare, she "barely carrie[d] the load."[62]

Depiction of fashion industry[edit]

Some media outlets allowed their present or former fashion reporters to weigh in on how realistic the movie was. Their responses varied widely. Booth Moore at Los Angeles Times chided Field for creating a "fine fashion fantasy with little to do with reality," a world that reflects what outsiders think fashion is like rather than what the industry actually is. Unlike the movie, in her experience fashionistas were less likely to wear makeup and more likely to value edgier dressing styles (that would not include toe rings).[63] "If they want a documentary, they can watch the History Channel", retorted Field.[64] Another newspaper fashion writer, Hadley Freeman of The Guardian, likewise complained the film was awash in the sexism and clichés that, to her, beset movies about fashion in general.[65]

Charla Krupp, the executive editor of SHOP, Inc., says "It's the first film I've seen that got it right ... [It] has the nuances of the politics and the tension better than any film—and the backstabbing and sucking-up."[39] Joanna Coles, the editor of the U.S. edition of Marie Claire, agreed:

The film brilliantly skewers a particular kind of young woman who lives, breathes, thinks fashion above all else ... those young women who are prepared to die rather than go without the latest Muse bag from Yves Saint Laurent that costs three times their monthly salary. It's also accurate in its understanding of the relationship between the editor-in-chief and the assistant.[39]

Ginia Bellefante, former fashion reporter for The New York Times, called it "easily the truest portrayal of fashion culture since Unzipped" and giving it credit for depicting the way fashion had changed in the early 21st century.[66] Her colleague Ruth La Ferla found a different opinion from industry insiders after a special preview screening. Most found the fashion in the movie too safe and the beauty too overstated, more in tune with the 1980s than the 2000s. "My job is to present an entertainment, a world people can visit and take a little trip," responded Field.[64]

Liz Jones, former editor of British Marie Claire, wrote in the Daily Mail that the movie was "a chilling reminder of the most surreal three years of my life." The only detail she found inaccurate was the absence of flowers in Miranda's Paris hotel room—during her tenure as editor, her rooms there or in Milan received so many flowers from designers that she thought she "had died prematurely." She personally vouched for Miranda's personality: "It took only a few weeks in the job for me to mutate into that strangely exotic and spoilt creature: the magazine maven, whose every whim, like those of Miranda ... must be pandered to."[17]

Commercial[edit]

On its June 30 opening weekend, right before the Independence Day holiday, the film was on 2,847 screens. Through that Sunday, July 2, it grossed $27 million, second only to the much bigger-budget Superman Returns,[67] breaking The Patriot's six-year-old record for the largest take by a movie released that holiday weekend that did not win the weekend;[68] a record that stood until Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs broke it in 2009.[69][b]

During its first week it added $13 million. This success led Fox to add 35 more screens the next weekend, the widest domestic distribution the film enjoyed. Although it was never any week's top-grossing film, it remained in the top 10 through July. Its theatrical run continued through December 10, shortly before the DVD release.[71]

"The core marketing was definitely to women," Gabler recalls, "but the men didn't resist going to the movie." She felt that male viewers responded favorably to the movie because they sought a glimpse inside fashion, and because Miranda "was enjoyable to watch." The release date helped generate word of mouth when people who had seen it discussed it at holiday gatherings. "They were talking about it, like a summer reading book," said Gabler.[5]

It had a very successful run in theaters, making nearly $125 million in the United States and Canada and over $325 million worldwide,[2] a career high for all three top-billed actresses at that time. Streep would surpass it two years later with Mamma Mia[72] while Hathaway exceeded it with 2010's Alice in Wonderland.[c][74] Blunt would not be in a higher-grossing film until the 2014 movie adaptation of the Broadway musical Into the Woods (also starring Streep).[75]

Anna Wintour, on whom Miranda is supposedly based, was at first skeptical of the film but later came to appreciate it.

It was also Tucci's highest-grossing film until Captain America: The First Avenger in 2011.[76]

Anna Wintour[edit]

Anna Wintour attended the film's New York premiere, wearing Prada. Her friend Barbara Amiel reported that she said shortly afterward that the movie would go straight to DVD.[77] But in an interview with Barbara Walters that aired the day the DVD was released, she called the film "really entertaining" and said she appreciated the "decisive" nature of Streep's portrayal. "Anything that makes fashion entertaining and glamorous and interesting is wonderful for our industry. So I was 100 percent behind it."[4] Streep said Wintour was "probably more upset by the book than the film."[78]

International[edit]

Weisberger's novel had been translated into 37 different languages, giving the movie a strong potential foreign audience. The international box office would ultimately deliver 60% of the film's gross. "We did our European premiere at the Venice Film Festival", Gabler says, where the city's gondoliers wore red T-shirts with the film's logo. "So many people around the world were captivated by the glossy fashion world. It was sexy and international."[5]

The Devil Wears Prada topped the charts on its first major European release weekend on October 9, after a strong September Oceania and Latin America opening. It would be the highest-grossing film that weekend in Britain, Spain and Russia, taking in $41.5 million overall.[79] Continued strong weekends as it opened across the rest of Europe helped it remain atop the overseas charts for the rest of the month.[80][81][82] By the end of the year only its Chinese opening remained; it was released there at the end of February 2007 and took in $2.4 million.[83]

The greatest portion of the $201.8 million total international box office came from the United Kingdom, with $26.5 million. Germany was next with $23.1 million, followed by Italy at $19.3 million and France at $17.9 million. Outside Europe, Japanese box office was the highest at $14.6 million, followed by Australia at $12.6 million.[83]

Most reviews from the international press echoed the domestic response, heaping praise on Streep and the other actors, but calling the whole film "predictable."[84] The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw, who found the film "moderately entertaining," took Blunt to task, calling her a "real disappointment ... strained and awkward."[85] In The Independent, Anthony Quinn said Streep "may just have given us a classic here" and concluded that the film as a whole was "as snappy and juicy as fresh bubblegum."[86]

The movie title in Spanish America (El diablo viste a la moda), English and Spanish (El diablo viste de Prada) in the same typeface as that used on the poster
The movie title in Spanish America (El diablo viste a la moda), English and Spanish (El diablo viste de Prada) in the same typeface as that used on the poster

In most markets the title remained unchanged; either the English was used or a translation into the local language. The only exceptions were Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Venezuela, where it was El diablo que viste Prada and El diablo se viste a la moda. In Poland, the title was Diabeł ubiera się u Prady which roughly means "The Devil dresses (itself) at Prada" rather than "The Devil Wears Prada." In Italian the title was ″Il diavolo veste Prada" which roughly means "The devil wears Prada". In Turkey, the title was "Şeytan Marka Giyer," roughly translated as "The Devil Wears Brand-Names." In Romania, the title was "Diavolul se îmbracă de la Prada," which roughly means "The Devil Dresses itself from Prada", the same construction being found in the French title, "Le Diable s'habille en Prada". The Japanese version is titled "プラダを着た悪魔", which translates as "The devil wearing Prada".

Awards and nominations[edit]

Three months after the film's North American release (October 2006), Frankel and Weisberger jointly accepted the first Quill Variety Blockbuster Book to Film Award. A committee of staffers at the magazine made the nominations and chose the award winner. Editor Peter Bart praised both works.

The Devil Wears Prada' is an energetically directed, perfect-fit of a film that has surprised some in the industry with its box-office legs. It has delighted the country, much as did Lauren Weisberger's book, which is still going strong on several national bestseller lists[87]

The film was honored by the National Board of Review as one of the year's ten best.[88] The American Film Institute gave the film similar recognition.[89]

The film received ample attention from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association when its Golden Globe Award nominations were announced on December 14, 2006. The film itself was in the running for Best Picture (Comedy/Musical) and Supporting Actress (for Blunt). Streep later won the Globe for Best Actress (Musical/Comedy).[90]

On January 4, 2007, her fellow members of the Screen Actors Guild nominated Streep for Best Actress as well.[91] Four days later, at the National Society of Film Critics awards, Streep won Best Supporting Actress for her work both in Devil and A Prairie Home Companion.[92] McKenna earned a nomination from the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay on January 11, 2007.[93]

The following day, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced its 2006 nominations; Blunt, Field, McKenna and Streep were all among the nominees, as were makeup artist and hairstylists Nicki Ledermann and Angel de Angelis.[94]

On January 23, 2007, Streep received her 14th Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, lengthening her record from 13 for most nominations by any actor male or female. Field received a Costume Design nomination as well.[95] Neither won, but Blunt and Hathaway presented the last mentioned award, amusing the audience by slipping into their characters for a few lines, nervously asking which of them had gotten Streep her cappuccino. Streep played along with a stern expression before smiling.[96]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result
Academy Awards February 25, 2007 Best Actress Meryl Streep Nominated
Best Costume Design Patricia Field Nominated
ACE Eddie Awards February 18, 2007 Best Edited Feature Film – Comedy or Musical Mark Livolsi Nominated
AFI Awards January 12, 2007 Movie of the Year The Devil Wears Prada Won
African-American Film Critics Association Awards December 22, 2006 Top 10 Films The Devil Wears Prada Won
Alliance of Women Film Journalists' EDA Awards December 2006 Best Comedy by or About Women David Frankel Nominated
Best Actress in a Comedic Performance Meryl Streep Won
Best Screenplay Written by a Woman Aline Brosh McKenna Nominated
Awards Circuit Community Awards December 2006 Best Actress in a Leading Role Meryl Streep Nominated
Best Actress in a Supporting Role Emily Blunt Nominated
BMI Film & TV Awards May 16, 2007 BMI Film Music Theodore Shapiro Won
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards December 11, 2006 Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress Meryl Streep Nominated
British Academy Film Awards February 11, 2007 Best Actress in a Leading Role Meryl Streep Nominated
Best Actress in a Supporting Role Emily Blunt Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Aline Brosh McKenna Nominated
Best Costume Design Patricia Field Nominated
Best Makeup and Hair Nicki Ledermann
Angel De Angelis
Nominated
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Awards January 11, 2007 Best Actress Meryl Streep Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards December 28, 2006 Best Actress Meryl Streep Nominated
Costume Designers Guild Awards February 2007 Excellence in Costume Design for a Contemporary Film Patricia Field Nominated
Critics' Choice Awards January 20, 2007 Best Comedy The Devil Wears Prada Nominated
Best Actress Meryl Streep Nominated
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards December 19, 2006 Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Meryl Streep Nominated
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress Emily Blunt Nominated
Dublin Film Critics' Circle Awards December 2006 Best Supporting Actress Meryl Streep Nominated
Golden Globe Awards January 15, 2007 Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy The Devil Wears Prada Nominated
Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Meryl Streep Won
Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Emily Blunt Nominated
Golden Schmoes Awards December 2006 Best Supporting Actress of the Year Emily Blunt Nominated
International Online Film Critics' Poll Awards January 9, 2011 Best Actress of the Decade Meryl Streep Nominated
Italian Online Movie Awards May 2007 Best Supporting Actress Meryl Streep Won
Jupiter Awards March 2007 Best International Actress Meryl Streep Nominated
Anne Hathaway Nominated
London Film Critics' Circle Awards February 8, 2007 Actress of the Year Meryl Streep Won
British Supporting Actress of the Year Emily Blunt Won
MTV Movie Awards June 3, 2007 Best Breakthrough Performance Emily Blunt Nominated
Best Villain Meryl Streep Nominated
Best Comedic Performance Emily Blunt Nominated
MTV Russia Movie Awards April 19, 2007 Best International Movie The Devil Wears Prada Nominated
National Board of Review Awards January 9, 2007 Top Ten Films The Devil Wears Prada Won
National Society of Film Critics Awards January 6, 2007 Best Supporting Actress Meryl Streep Won
New York Film Critics Circle Awards December 11, 2006 Best Actress Meryl Streep Nominated
North Texas Film Critics Association Awards January 21, 2007 Best Actress Meryl Streep Won
Online Film & Television Association Awards February 10, 2007 Best Actress Meryl Streep Nominated
Best Costume Design Patricia Field Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Awards January 8, 2007 Best Actress Meryl Streep Nominated
People's Choice Awards January 9, 2007 Favorite Song from a Movie "Crazy" – Alanis Morissette Nominated
Rembrandt Awards March 2007 Best International Actress Meryl Streep Won
Satellite Awards December 18, 2006 Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy The Devil Wears Prada Nominated
Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Meryl Streep Won
Satellite Award for Best Costume Design Patricia Field Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards January 28, 2007 Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Meryl Streep Nominated
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards January 7, 2007 Best Supporting Actress Meryl Streep Nominated
Teen Choice Awards August 20, 2006 Choice Summer Movie: Comedy The Devil Wears Prada Nominated
Choice Movie: Chemistry Meryl Streep
Anne Hathaway
Nominated
Choice Movie: Breakout Star – Female Emily Blunt Nominated
Choice Movie: Villain Meryl Streep Nominated
USC Scripter Awards February 18, 2007 Best Screenplay Aline Brosh McKenna
Lauren Weisberger
Nominated
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards January 9, 2007 Best Supporting Actress Meryl Streep Nominated
Women Film Critics Circle Awards December 14, 2006 Best Comedic Performance Meryl Streep Won
Best Woman Storyteller Aline Brosh McKenna Won
Writers Guild of America Awards February 11, 2007 Best Adapted Screenplay Aline Brosh McKenna Nominated

In other media[edit]

The success of the film led to a proposed, but unrealized, American dramedy series that was in contention to air for the 2007–08 television season on Fox. It was to be produced by Fox Television Studios, with the premise adjusted for the confines of a traditional half-hour or one-hour dramedy with a single camera set-up. However, it never reached the point of even producing a pilot episode.[97]

With the video release came renewed interest in Weisberger's novel. It ranked eighth on USA Todays list of 2006 best sellers[98] and was the second most borrowed book in American libraries.[99] The audiobook version was released in October 2006 and quickly made it to third on that medium's fiction best seller list.[100]

In 2015, it was reported that Broadway producer Kevin McCollum had signed a deal two years earlier with Fox to develop some of the movies from its back catalog into musicals for the stage. Two he expressed particular interest in were Mrs. Doubtfire and The Devil Wears Prada. While he first chose an adaptation of Ever After, a 1998 Drew Barrymore film,[101] theater enthusiasts were intrigued by the possibility of a Devil Wears Prada musical. "[It] isn't terrible source material," observed The A.V. Club, which speculated that Patti Lupone or Bernadette Peters might make a memorable Miranda on stage.[102]

Home media [edit]

The DVD was released on December 12, 2006 and has, in addition to the film, the following extras:[103]

  • Audio commentary from Frankel, editor Mark Livolsi, Field, screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna, producer Wendy Finerman and cinematographer Florian Ballhaus.
  • A five-minute blooper reel featuring, among other shots, unintentional pratfalls by Hathaway due to the high stiletto heels she had to wear. It also includes gag shots such as a chubby crewmember in loose-fitting clothing walking along the runway at the fashion show, and Streep announcing "I have some nude photographs to show you" at the Paris brunch scene.[104] Unlike most blooper reels, it is not a collection of sequential takes but rather a fast-paced montage set to music from the film with many backstage shots and a split screenshot allowing the viewer to compare the actual shot with the blooper. The many shots of actors touching their noses are, Rich Sommer says, a game played to assign blame for ruined takes.[105]
  • Five featurettes
    • "Trip to the Big Screen", a 12-minute look at the film's pre-production, discussing the changes made from the novel, how Frankel was chosen to direct and other issues.
    • "NYC and Fashion", a look at the real New York fashion scene and how it is portrayed in the film.
    • "Fashion Visionary Patricia Field", a profile of the film's costume designer.
    • "Getting Valentino", covering how the designer was persuaded to appear as himself in the film.
    • "Boss from Hell", a short segment on difficult, nightmarish superiors like Priestly.
  • Fifteen deleted scenes, with commentary from Frankel and Livolsi available (see below).
  • The theatrical trailer, and promotional spots for the soundtrack album and other releases.

Closed captions in French and Spanish are also available. The DVD is available in both full screen and widescreen versions. Pictures of the cast and the tagline "Hell on Heels" were added to the red-heel image for the cover. It was released in the UK on February 5, 2007.

A Blu-ray Disc of the film was released simultaneously with the DVD. The Blu-ray maintains the same features as the DVD; however, the featurettes were dropped and replaced with a subtitle pop-up trivia track that can be watched by itself or along with the audio commentary.[106]

Reception[edit]

Immediately upon its December 12 release, it became the top rental in the USA. It held that spot through the end of the year, adding another $26.5 million to the film's grosses; it dropped out of the top 50 at the end of March, with its grosses almost doubling.[107] The following week it made its debut on the DVD sales charts in third position. By the end of 2007 it had sold nearly 5.6 million units, for a total of $94.4 million in sales.[108]

Deleted scenes[edit]

Among the deleted scenes are some that added more background information to the story, with commentary available by the editor and director. Most were deleted by Livolsi in favor of keeping the plot focused on the conflict between Miranda and Andrea, often without consulting Frankel.[29]

Frankel generally approved of his editor's choices, but differed on one scene, showing Andrea on her errand to the Calvin Klein showroom. He felt that scene showed Andrea's job was about more than running personal errands for Miranda.[29]

Cultural impact and legacy[edit]

In 2016, around the 10th anniversary of the film's release, Vanity Fair did a rundown of some Independence Day weekend movie box results from the previous 15 years, noting how some better-remembered films had been bested by films that have not stood the test of time. It called Superman Returns' win over The Devil Wears Prada the "most ironic" of these victories. "[T]he degree to which [it]has penetrated pop culture needs no explanation–as does the degree to which Superman Returns didn't."[109]

The cast's opinions on why the movie has endured differ. Hathaway told Variety that she thinks many people relate to Andy's predicament of working for someone who seems impossible to please. "Everybody has had an experience like this." Tucci did not believe specific explanations were necessary. "It’s a fucking brilliant movie ... The brilliant movies become influential, no matter what they are about."[7]

Cast[edit]

The cast members bonded tightly on the set, and remained close afterwards. Blunt invited them to her wedding to John Krasinski in 2010. There, Tucci met her sister Felicity, whom he later married. "Ten years after The Devil Wears Prada, Stanley is in my actual family," she told Variety. "How frightening is that?"[7]

In its anniversary story, Variety argued that it had benefited all three of its lead actresses. In addition to Streep's record-setting Oscar nomination, the magzine observed, it had proven that she could be a box-office draw by herself, opening doors up for her to be cast as a lead in later summer movies such as Julie & Julia and Mamma Mia!. For Hathaway, it was her first leading role in a film intended for an adult audience. Subsequent producers were impressed that she had held her own playing opposite Streep, which led eventually to her being cast in more serious roles like Rachel Getting Married and Les Misérables, for which she won an Oscar. "I think what people saw was promising—it made people want to see more."[7]

Hathaway believes that Blunt's career took off because of her role. "I've never witnessed a star being born before," Hathaway says. "That's the first time I watched it happen." Blunt agrees that it was "a night and day change" for her—the day after the film was released, she told Variety, the staff at the coffee shop she had been going to for breakfast every morning in Los Angeles suddenly recognized her. Even ten years later, people still quote her lines from the film back to her at least once a week, she says.[7]

Audience demographics[edit]

"[The film] definitely paved the way for the filmmakers and distributors of the world to know that there was a female audience that was really strong out there", Gabler recalls, one that was not segmented by age. She pointed to later movies, such as Mamma Mia!, 27 Dresses (written by McKenna) and Me Before You, that appeared to her to be trying to replicate The Devil Wears Prada's success with that demographic. However, Gabler feels they did not do so as well. "Prada reminds me of movies that we don't have a lot of now—it harkens back to classic movies that had so much more than just one kind of plot line ... You just keep wanting to find something that can touch upon the same zeitgeist as this film."[5]

For Streep, the most significant thing about the film was that "[t]his was the first time, on any movie I have ever made, where men came up to me and said, 'I know what you felt like, this is kind of like my life.' That was for me the most ground-breaking thing about Devil Wears Prada—it engaged men on a visceral level," she told Indiewire.[5]

Popular culture and society[edit]

The film has made a lasting impact on popular culture. Although a TV series based on it was not picked up, in the years after its release The Simpsons titled an episode "The Devil Wears Nada" and parodied some scenes. The American version of The Office began an episode with Steve Carell as Michael Scott imitating Miranda after watching the film on Netflix.

In 2008, The New York Times wrote that the movie had defined the image of a personal assistant in the public mind.[110] Seven years later, Dissent's Francesca Mari wrote about "the assistant economy" by which many creative professionals rely on workers so titled to do menial personal and professional tasks for them; she pointed to The Devil Wears Prada as the best-known narrative of assistantship.[111] The next year, writing about a proposed change in U.S. federal overtime regulations that was seen as threatening to that practice, the Times called it the 'Devil Wears Prada' economy",[112] a term other news outlets also used.[113]

On the film's 10th anniversary, Alyssa Rosenberg wrote in The Washington Post that Miranda anticipated female antiheroines of popular television series of the later 2000s and 2010s such asScandal;'s Olivia Pope and Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones. Like them, she observes, Miranda competently assumes a position of authority often held by male characters, despite her moral failings, that she must defend against attempts to use her personal life to remove her from it, to "prov[e], as a creature of sentiment, that she never belonged there in the first place." In doing so, however successfully to herself and others, "she has zipped herself into a life as regimented and limited as a skintight pencil skirt."[114]

"Like many instant classics,Prada benefited from perfect timing", Variety's 2016 article observed, attempting to explain the film's enduring appeal. "It marked the beginning of the democratization of the fashion industry—when the masses started to pay attention to the business of what they wore." It credited the movie with helping stir interest in the American adaptation of the Colombian television series Ugly Betty, which debuted months after its release.[7]

The film also has been credited with increasing interest in R.J. Cutler's documentary The September Issue, which followed Wintour and other Vogue editors as they prepared the issue for that month of 2007.[7] Writing in The Ringer on the tenth anniversary, Alison Herman observed that "The Devil Wears Prada transformed Wintour's image from that of a mere public figure into that of a cultural icon." Once known primarily as a fashion editor, she was now "every overlord you'd ever bitched about three drinks deep at happy hour, only to dutifully fetch her coffee the next day." Ultimately, the film had effected a positive change in Wintour's image, Herman argued, "from a tyrant in chinchilla to an idol for the post-Sandberg age."[14]

Possible sequel[edit]

In 2013 Weisberger wrote a sequel, Revenge Wears Prada. However it does not seem likely that a film version of it, or any sequel, will be made, as two of the film's stars are not eager to do so. Streep, who has never made a sequel to any of her films, has reportedly said that she is not interested in making this one in particular. And while Hathaway admits she'd be interested in working with the same people, it would have to be "something totally different." The Devil Wears Prada, she told Variety "might have just hit the right note. It's good to leave it as it is."[7]

See also[edit]

Similar films[edit]

Lists[edit]

Works cited[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Helen Mirren's hair has also been cited as an inspiration[12]
  2. ^ To qualify that record slightly, Ice Age, narrowly lost that opening weekend to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which unlike Superman Returns had opened the previous week.[69]

    The following year, The Last Airbender also exceeded The Devil Wears Prada's July 4 opening weekend take without winning the weekend, as did The Purge: Election Year in 2016, but neither film broke Ice Age's record.[70]

  3. ^ In 2008, Get Smart outdid Devil's domestic box office but took in far less overseas[73]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]