Today a classic, The Devil Wears Prada got savaged by critics when it was first came out. 10 years ago. Predictable, they deemed it. Cliché-ridden. As stupid as the world it portrays. And Lauren Weisberger, who had worked at Vogue before publishing her debut novel and greatest hit to date, was accused of ingratitude. Because, you see, a million girls would have killed for her job.
The story is, indeed, simple: Andrea, an Ivy League graduate is struggling to find a job that will get her any closer to writing for The New Yorker. She’s finally employed by Miranda Priestly (read: Anna Wintour), editor-in-chief of a top fashion magazine (read: Vogue), who turns out to be a bitch. And Miranda’s (and all other fashion people’s) bitchiness takes up most of the plot, with the twists and turns of Andy’s romantic life filling in the rest.
Yes, the whole book is based on stereotypes. True, the characters are not even two-dimensional, they’re bloodless symbols with no dimensions other than their waist size. Yes, many aspects of the fashion world (namely, the bitchy ones) must have been exaggerated. And no, The Devil Wears Prada is most definitely not a spiritually enhancing masterpiece that does justice to the language of Shakespeare. Yet it sold in over four million copies , becoming a #1 bestseller. And you know why? Because TDWP is often accurate, always funny, and so gripping that you don’t notice its downfalls –who cares about literary merits, you just want to know what horrible (but hilarious) thing Miranda says next!
It wasn’t until the release of the eponymous film, starring Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep, that the novel gained some respect. Nevertheless, TDWP is considered one of the rare cases of a movie better than the book it’s based on. However, if I were to choose just one, I’d still stick with the text. While the visual aspect plays an important role, and Meryl is predictably awesome, nothing beats the pleasure of getting terribly sunburned because you lost yourself in a good bad book while lying in the sunshine (true story.)
And I recommend that you do just that before the long-awaited sequel comes out – in the UK, on Thursday the 20th! Expect a review next week!