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Saturday, March 11, 2006

People are wondering whether the voguey crowd will love or hate the upcoming movie (expected release this June) based on the "Devil wears Prada" book - so here are 2 eurocents worth of my opinion...

Don't confuse the book with the movie - movies many times have little or no relation to the book on which they are supposedly based. The reaction to the book was downright nasty in NYC circles - from a 2003 article on how the NYT treated the book:

"...The fact that the paper (me says: the NYT) twice reviewed a literary debut by a previously unknown author would be noteworthy in itself; what's unprecedented is the fact that its reviewers twice ripped the book to shreds — arguing not simply that it fails as literature, but that it should never have been published in the first place...Given how many books are published each year, and how few the Times actually reviews, why would the paper twice in two days go out of its way to hammer a first novel by a hitherto unpublished writer? (Another point of disclosure: The Times did not review my first novel last year.) The answer cannot be that The Devil Wears Prada was heavily promoted . . . since even a cursory glance at its own bestseller lists will reveal many mega-hyped books the Times wouldn't touch with a ten-foot highlighter."

Meryl Streep (the editrix) and Anne Hathaway (her assistant) from a movie still

The answer is that AW's minions were really pissed by the book's treatment of...themselves. They did their best to trash Lauren Weisberger, who committed the "cardinal sin" - as K Betts put it, "..."I have to say Weisberger could have learned a few things in the year she sold her soul to the devil of fashion for $32,500. She had a ringside seat at one of the great editorial franchises in a business that exerts an enormous influence over women, but she seems to have understood almost nothing about the isolation and pressure of the job her boss was doing...."

We are talking about the sort of people who publish articles (which are of course approved by higher management)in a paper with very expensive real estate, just to blast those (PETA members mainly) who love to throw all kinds of stuff at A Wintour during FW - and not at other fur wearers around if anyone really gives a shit. The NYT has now become "AW's Defense League"?
So AW's lackeys hated the book and the author - but what about the movie?
It is entirely possible that the movie will present a totally different image of the alpha female and those around her. It all depends on how likeable the main character - the editrix - ends up being. Meryl Streep IMO is a rather unlikely choice for the editrix role.
Hollywood treats movies as products to be sold to a certain demographic - the actors are chosen to appeal to the movie's intended audience. Meryl's traditional fans have little to do with the voguey crowd and the educated and more cultured people in NYC tend to view fashionistas as lepers - the problems US Vogue had in convincing NYC museums to hold fashion-related exhibitions are well known. Will this audience appreciate any "positive" messages about fashion? Or is the movie supposed to appeal to Anne Hathaway fans? She is hardly "high fashion" material - you would expect a WASP/JAP blonde to play that role.
AW herself is not dismissive of the movie openly - and she has made ambiguous statements about it so far. Radar claims that she is pissed - "...When Wintour got wind that producers had been recruiting major designers for walk-on roles, sources close to the film say she unleashed a flurry of phone calls intimating to the aspiring thespians that they’d be persona non grata in the pages of her high-end glossy if they participated..."
The bottom line is - we should really wait for the final edited product and see what the merchandising spin is, before deciding which way it goes...her minions claim that "Anna’s happy about anything that supports fashion" - we'll find out fairly soon.


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