Young woman scores job that "a millions girls would kill for" - except she's completely unqualified for it, regardless of her past accomplishments (along with her lack of fashion), while slowly leaving her dorky demeanor behind, as well as her close relationships, to become a journalist-in-training/fashionista for one of the fashion world's most cutthroat boss. This is the basic premise for The Devil Wears Prada, a movie I can watch over and over again, mainly because of Meryl Streep's wonderful portrayal of a cold-hearted woman on top of the fashion world.
Andrea "Andy" Sachs, played by the gorgeous Anne Hathaway, does a great job going from geek to chic in a way only Hollywood can only do it (in less than five minutes for those who haven't watched the movie). I'm not a fashionista or a fashion blogger, but Hathaway is beautiful in all of her outfits she manages to put on (steal?) before a long day in hell. Overall, the storyline is somewhat cliché, but the cast steals the spotlight, along with the one-liners they provide, such as Stanley Tucci's condescendingly funny "Wake up, six" line in reference to Sachs' waist line.
But something hit me after watching the flick for the gazillionth time: Andy Sachs' friends are dicks. When I first watched the movie, I felt like they were right; that Andy was simply becoming "one of them", one of the "clackers" (in reference to the sound the women makes when following Miranda) that she initially despised. Andy was doing well at her job, but at the loss of her old, dorky self, as well as her closest relationships, including le boyfriend.
When I was attending university, I was told to do everything you can to get to the top; to pay your dues as a lowly production assistant until you are able to branch off into something that fits your career path. Is there something wrong with becoming "one of them"? Andy, fresh out of school, with a decent background in Journalism from her alma mater, was set on becoming a writer, no matter where she landed. It so happened to be under a no-holds barred boss lady, Miranda Priestly - who also did the same as she admitted to Andy in a one-on-one scene. Is it really so wrong to drink the kool-aid to get where the hell you want to be? Andy's supposed best friends didn't think so and they made it perfectly clear, specifically her boyfriend, Nate.
Throughout the movie, you witness Andy's and Nate's relationship dwindle as she slowly takes more responsibilities as Miranda's second assistant. From Andy's change in wardrobe to missing Nate's birthday due to a work function, you can see Nate's frustration with her as she becomes more attached (and accomplished) to her work. Their relationship explodes as Nate finds out that Andy must attend Paris Fashion Week, leading to a break between them. But the question that lingers in my head is: whatever happened to being supportive of your significant other?
If I were in Nate's shoes, I would be more than happy for Andy's fresh start as an assistant for a magazine, even if she didn't necessarily fit the mold. I would love to see my partner get ahead in life, no matter where they start. I mean, I understand: the hours are long or she's not spending enough time with him, but she's doing a job that can take her far. Did I mention it would only be for a year? Time goes by quick and if Nate fully supported her, he should understand the sacrifices Andy chose to make in order to get ahead.
Ultimately, Andy chooses the "high" road and walks away from Miranda, the high fashion wardrobe, grueling hours and returns back to Earth, where she continues her path in journalism. Although she did get a surprising positive reference from Miranda for Andy's future position, I still have to disagree with her choice. The job was only for a year! If Andy truly believed in her work and knew where she wanted to go, she should have stuck it out and continued to excel until she got everything she needed out of the position. And if her closest friends don't believe in what she's doing, then maybe Andy should surround herself with like-minded people.