The Devil Wears Prada
You know, at one time or another, everyone has to deal with a bitchy boss. And because this situation is universal in life, it's also fairly common in the movies. Let's see, I think Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith) had to deal with a boss-from-hell in Katharine Parker (Sigourney Weaver) in "Working Girl." And then, of course, there was Guy (Frank Whaley), who had to deal with Buddy Ackerman (Kevin Spacey) in "Swimming with Sharks."
Thus, the formula becomes clear: Steal somebody else's story and reposition it in another profession. So just like "The Devil Wears Prada" (the book and the resulting movie) took the story of "Swimming with Sharks" and moved it from Hollywood to the fashion world, ten years from now some industrious, young, unoriginal screenwriter will wow Hollywood with the story of an new-but-industrious FBI agent having to deal with his impossibly stupid, cruel boss. It'll be called "G-Maniac."
Then what the casting director will do is cast some doe-eyed young actor or actress in the role of the new agent and some legendary actor as his/her boss and bank on the audience's reaction. Oh, the intimidation! But then the doe-eyed actor/actress will gain strength and eventually be able to stand up to the boss. What a transformation!
So one might guess that I wasn't very surprised by the developments in "The Devil Wears Prada." Doe-eyed Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) walks into the offices of Runway Magazine thinking she'll write some articles or answer phones only to be overwhelmed by the whole situation, which she knows nothing about, and her unusually cruel, new boss, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). Naturally, it looks like Andy won't make it in the harsh fashion world, but she pulls it together, learns to dress the part, and even begins to act the part, which is precisely when she has a professional re-evaluation and the whole "moral of the story" thing comes into play.
Who better to direct such an enterprise than an experienced television director like David Frankel? As everyone knows, television people regurgitate tired storylines like birds reguritating worms for their young.
Sometimes being a film critic is like being Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day," except that not only do you live the same experiences over and over again, there's nothing you can do to make them any less painful.
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