While The Girlfriend and I were out on Long Island this weekend to celebrate my grandmother’s 80th birthday, we naturally got bored like hell because, you know, it’s Long Island, and as we ran through the possibilities of what we could do (shopping involves money, which we don’t have; bowling involves drinking, and it was 11:00 in the morning; going to TGIFridays involves being at TGIFridays, etc) we finally decided to just do the most generic Long Island thing we could think of and go to the movies. The only problem is that there was not a single movie playing that interested us both. The Girlfriend pressed for The Devil Wears Prada, I pressed for A Scanner Darkly, in the end we compromised and went to see The Devil Wears Prada.
And I don’t know what effect this will have on readership, or on my standing as the coolest guy on the block, but I actually enjoyed it. And here’s why:
(WARNING: What follows may include “spoilers” as to what happens in the movie, so if you are one of those people who hates to have a “surprise” ruined, don’t continue reading. However it must be noted that if you can’t guess what happens in this movie just by reading a 50 word synopsis, you probably have never seen a movie before in your life, and don’t plan on doing so in the near future because the “home” you are staying in isn’t really big on field trips.)
1. Anne Hathaway looks good: There was a period of time between The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement and Brokeback Mountain (sometimes even I can’t believe I start sentences with phrases like that) when Anne Hathaway seemed to be going downhill, veering away from the promised she showed early on to be hot. But even when she was supposed to look “bad” in this movie, when she was unfashionable and holding onto her principals and all sorts of other ugly things, she still looked cute. I felt pride, because I told my friends after The Princess Diaries that she was going to be hot, and they were all like, “Princess who?” and I was like, “You’ll see,” and they were like, “What movies are you watching?” and I was all, “Whatever.” And then I was afraid I would be wrong, but lo and behold, it turns out she is hot – and that’s awesome for me because now I can add her to the long list of “hot girls I don’t know,” which is what they politicians are referring to when they use the term “empty victory.”
2. It doesn’t try to be funny: The worst thing a movie like this can do is try to surpass “entertaining” and go for “hilarious,” because inevitably they end up peppering the script with placed jokes and awful slapstick and it’s just embarrassing. Everyone making one of these movies needs to take a page from The Cutting Edge, and that’s what they did here – quippy dialogue, but not trying to do too much. This might be the most serious paragraph I have ever written.
3. Meryl Streep is really cool: There’s a whole category of actresses who I am not sexually attracted to, but I still enjoy watching, and Meryl Streep is undoubtedly near the top of that list. And if I knew how to review movies I would use words like “understated” and “biting” to describe her performance, but since I don’t I’ll just say that by the end of the movie I was even a little sexually attracted to her. Because I like my women like I like my roast beef – cold, and emotionless.
4. The clothes: OMG! Like Prada and Chanel and Manolo Blahnik EVERYWHERE!
5. The social commentary: If you knew nothing on how the world works and how people relate to one another, you would learn the following from this movie: it’s OK to blow off your friends as long as you bring them presents; 99% of love relationship issues can be resolves through avoiding the problem and instead having sex; the other 1% can be fixed with time spent apart; if you kiss a girl and she says, “No,” kiss her again. If she says no again, and blabbers on about it being wrong and her being too drunk, kiss her again. If she is still refusing you, kiss her a fourth time and she will ultimately say, “Yes,”; it’s OK to have a one night stand as long as you learn something from it; if someone in the workplace does you a favor, you owe them sex; you will have great personal and professional success if you dress up for work.
(Please note that I compiled that list with the utmost sarcasm, but rereading it now it’s actually all pretty true.)
In fact, the only thing I didn’t like about the movie was the ending. It’s not just that it was too easy (which they always are in these kinds of movies) but it didn’t make any sense. She comes back to her boyfriend, but he’s taken a job in Boston, but he tells her they can work it out and she is happy, but then she takes a job in New York? And even though Hathaway basically walked out on Streep in the middle of work, Streep gives Hathaway a great recommendation for a new job? I mean, there’s a pro caliber hockey player becoming an Olympic champion pairs figure skater, and then there’s this.
Here are a few of my suggestions on how to make the end of the movie a little more interesting:
– The Horror Twist. It turns out Meryl Streep really is the Devil and, having conquered the conscience of her 1,000,000,000th innocent soul, she brings forth an Armageddon.
– The Ironic Twist. Hathaway quits her job to regain her integrity, but with no relevant work experience she is unable to get a new job so she becomes a stripper.
– The Fight Club Twist. Al Qaeda destroys the office buildings of Runway magazine; thousands and thousands of fashion records are destroyed, rendering the fashion landscape barren. Everyone starts out from zero, and chunky wool becomes so popular that New Zealand emerges as a world superpower. Hathaway moves there, takes a job in a beachside café, and is often topless.
– The Dramatic Twist. Hathaway is caught in a street brawl during her first assignment as a reporter. Because of her three inch heels she cannot flee fast enough and is stabbed to death.
– The Realistic Twist. Hathaway quits her job and, unable to find work in journalism, becomes a temp paralegal. She starts a blog which has moderate success. Suddenly it’s five years later and she’s too old to change careers so she gets pregnant and goes on antidepressants.