Ryan Chartrand

The latest summertime flick “The Devil Wears Prada” puts an entirely new spin on the boss from hell.

Oscar-winner Meryl Streep steals the show as Miranda Priestly, the fearsome editor in chief of “Runway” magazine. Miranda has built an empire for herself as the head of this fictional fashion bible, but she has a devil of a time finding a decent assistant.

In comes Anne Hathaway as Andy Sachs, a small-town college graduate who reluctantly applies for the perpetually vacant position. Miranda decides to take a chance on the “smart, fat girl,” since her favorite girls (the “stylish, slender” ones) usually turn out to be disappointing assistants. Despite Andy’s heinous outfit and blatant disregard for style, Miranda hires her on the spot.

Andy quickly learns that even though “a million girls would kill for this job,” it’s quite the hellish nightmare working for Miranda Priestly. In order to get ahead in the woman-eat-woman fashion industry, it’s clear that Andy needs to make some changes to both her attitude and wardrobe.

After asking if Andy was “a before-and-after piece I don’t know about,” Nigel, the fashion director at “Runway” (think “Queer Eye” fashionista here), eventually gives Andy a much needed makeover so she can survive in the cutthroat world of stilettos and designer handbags. As he says, “You’re in desperate need of Chanel.”

Boyfriend Nate is there to remind Andy where she came from and provide the audience with a contrast to the crazy, hectic world of “Runway.”

The casting in “The Devil Wears Prada” couldn’t be better. Streep uses the perfect blend of comedy and drama to bring life to Miranda’s character in a believable way. It’s refreshing to see that Miranda isn’t portrayed as a one-dimensional demon of a woman; instead, Streep explores the inner workings of Miranda through her successes and failures – both as an executive and as a human being.

Hathaway does a great job in her “makeover” role, which is reminiscent of her character in “The Princess Diaries.” Hathaway not only makes an exceptionally gawky fish-out-of-water, but she is also able to take the audience with her during her transformation from idealistic college grad to success-hungry sophisticate.

The film is a bitingly witty take on the multi-million dollar fashion industry. With its spectacular cast and cleverly-written script, it proves to be one of the summer’s must-see comedies.

“The Devil Wears Prada” was adapted from Lauren Weisberger’s best-selling novel of the same name. Directed by David Frankel, the film lasts approximately 110 minutes and is showing at the Park Theater in Paso Robles and the Downtown Centre Cinema in San Luis Obispo.

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