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My Affair With The Devil

April 5, 2010

Man the desk at all times.

The Devil Wears Prada is one of those movies I can watch over and over, back to back. I can’t even count the ways I love this movie, but I’ll try. It’s so lovably catty, superficial while being kind of significant, and endlessly quotable. It also offers a few life lessons I think we can all benefit from.

Strong interviewing skills are really necessary when you’re fat. Miranda Priestly, the fictional editor of Runway magazine (hello, Vogue) consistently hires slender, well-dressed, rabid fans of the magazine. Andy Sachs is a size 6 (fashion fat), poorly dressed, fashion-ignorant recent college graduate looking for a job at any magazine to advance her journalism career. In her brief “interview” with Miranda, she really screws the pooch by admitting that she’s just interviewing at Runway because “it’s this or Auto Universe“. Um, hello? Know the job you’re interviewing for! You’re not going to get a job you admit to the interviewer you don’t really give a shit about. And you definitely don’t show up to an interview at a freaking fashion magazine in a sweater vest. Unless, I guess, sweater vests are in that season, but I haven’t been alive long enough to see sweater vests be in, ever. Now, Andy may not be familiar with being considered fat, but any fat girl worth her diet salt knows that fat women have to work twice as hard — and look twice as good — to get a job. Get it together, girl. You’re lucky Miranda Priestly is famous for being unpredictable.

Try not to laugh in your boss’ face. Try hard. This is a pretty simple lesson to learn and most folks can figure this one out on their own. While observing a “run-through”, in which fashion editors show Miranda looks for the next issue, one of the editors holds up two belts that admittedly even to me look similar and says “they’re so different”. Andy promptly starts snickering. This prompts one of my favorite monologues in the movie, where Miranda rips her a new one telling her exactly why fashion matters and where that lumpy blue sweater she’s wearing came from.

Don’t give your friends expensive shit you get from your job if they’re going to be dicks about you doing your job. Andy shows up to dinner with her friends toting a bunch of triple digit prizes passed down to her by Miranda, including a Marc Jacobs bag that apparently costs $600. Andy gives it to her friend who gets all excited, then Miranda calls her cell and the same friend who gladly took the bag grabs her phone and starts tossing it around like a child playing keep away. Then they all start snickering as she talks to Miranda. What the hell, people? Her job is bomb while she’s giving you treats but when she actually has to work she’s a sellout?

Being true to yourself sometimes means you do stupid things like walk away from a life of glamour and excitement. Here’s where I discover that I have less scruples than I thought I did. At the end when Andy decides that she doesn’t want to be cutthroat like Miranda and leaves her high and dry in Paris, throwing her cell phone into a fountain (hello, how are you getting home, you’re in freaking Paris), I always find myself yelling “don’t walk away, Andrea!” at the screen. I guess because I’m one of the millions of girls that would kill for that job my priorities are in a different place.

[This was originally posted at my other blog, Red Vinyl Shoes.]

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2010 9:26 am

    In her brief “interview” with Miranda, she really screws the pooch by admitting that she’s just interviewing at Runway because “it’s this or Auto Universe“. Um, hello? Know the job you’re interviewing for! You’re not going to get a job you admit to the interviewer you don’t really give a shit about.

    While I adore the movie, I never liked Andrea and surprisingly did not find Miranda to be unreasonable at all. Just direct and specific. She doesn’t seem like a terrible boss to me. Actually, I tend to admire that kind of clarity of vision.

    I really liked this post.

  2. April 5, 2010 10:16 am

    Even if I’d walk away from it, I’d really like to at least have the opportunity for a life of glamor and excitement. Or at least lots of money.

  3. araymondjohnson permalink
    April 5, 2010 11:03 am

    I was surprised at how much I liked this movie too, probably because I was annoyed by Andrea at times and I loved Miranda at others, so it added some counterbalance to the genre. Also, I know this is a bold statement, but I really think Anne Hathaway could be the next Meryl Streep — and I am a man who is planning a matching Meryl Streep portraiture tattoo with a friend. She is laying the groundwork, so we’ll see.

  4. hsofia permalink
    April 5, 2010 12:23 pm

    I’m like Andrea – could never hack it at such a job. It would require so much of my energy just to mentally prepare myself to go in every morning, that I’d burn out after six months. Although I think I would make a good and loyal assistant to a Very Important Person – it’s just the environment is too catty and stressful. Trying to dress like you make 100K a year when you only make 15K? No, thanks.

  5. April 5, 2010 12:53 pm

    I liked that movie and loved that belt monologue, lots.

  6. Candice permalink
    April 5, 2010 12:56 pm

    Hello, I Fry Mine in Butter!
    Oh man, as much as I love this movie, I hate the end. I don’t give a crap about fashion but if I found myself in Andrea’s position… having earned the glorious Miranda’s respect!? I would bathe in it morning, noon, and night.

  7. April 5, 2010 3:27 pm

    Whenever I watch this I keep looking for indications that Miranda is just horrible beyond words and not finding it. I also did the same thing when I watched “The September Issue.”

  8. April 5, 2010 9:30 pm

    I just put “The September Issue” in my Netflix Instant Queue. The thing that really annoyed me about this movie was her friends’ total lack of respect forAndy trying to make her way up the ladder and further her career just because they thought where she worked was trivial. She made it clear that working there for a year would open a lot of doors and they just shit all over her. By the end I was glad she had broken up with her boyfriend and I hoped she would ditch her loser friends too.

  9. April 5, 2010 9:33 pm

    @Candace – I totally agree with you. You could learn so much from someone at the top of their game! In addition, Miranda really respected Andy, which probably why she gave that slight smile at the end before rolling up the window!

    Welcome Candace and thanks so much for commenting!

    @Tash – You should definitely watch September Issue. It’s really interesting.

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