I really had no idea what it was about other than it being somehow related to fashion. I had been largely uninterested in the advertising campaign, although Meryl Streep had caught my eye briefly at one time or another. I was told it was a comedy based on a book that was very funny. It was either this or sit through World Trade Center, and I had no intention of doing that.
The Devil Wears Prada had a sharp script, a good cast who mostly delivered and seemingly the potential to be a rather fun take on the fashion world. It was a great idea but ultimately the movie fell down because it was not about anything. There was no hint of a plot, only a series of very uninvolving sub plots. This left me feeling like there was really no reason to watch the movie.
There was no real story involved and Anne Hathaway was eternally dull in her role as a less-than-sassy journalist turned sexed-up-fashion type.
It isn’t that a movie has to be about something, but if a movie chooses to not have any real message, meaning or signs of predicament then it needs to have some elements of beauty in itself. A good script is not enough. It needs substance where there is none. Take Night on Earth, for example. It is an incredible movie not really about anything, but it feels like it is about everything.
Too many movies recently have been underwhelming. Hollywood seems to just make movies without thinking of much in the way of substance. Fun with Dick and Jane was a fun movie, but was it really about anything? I think perhaps I have become too obsessed with finding meaning in a movie that some films now bemuse me somewhat. You, Me and Dupree is another one. It was just a film with no real point. It was not even particularly funny.
What a film lacks in plot it can make up with shades of genius, but these are few and far between in today’s climate. It is difficult for a movie not to adhere to clichés because in this day and age it feels like there are no original ideas left, as was highlighted by the brilliant movie Lady in the Water. If there are no original ideas then well worn ideas must be presented with charm and finesse, as was the case with Lady in the Water.
Too many films are clumsy in their use of a cliché. In The Devil Wears Prada, Anne Hathaway’s character starts off as a loather of fashion. I inwardly hoped that the inevitable ‘dull girl gets a makeover’ would not happen, and they held it off for some time, but then, of course, it happened and the film took on a rather passé approach to telling its (lack of) story.
Are there no more original ideas left? David Lynch seems to come up with original ideas, or at least original takes on old ideas. David Cronenberg the same. But not everybody is as gifted as these two.
What this world needs is more films like Videodrome and eXistenZ, and perhaps a series of anti World Trade Center movie highlighting some of the atrocities America has been responsible for in the past. They would make captivating pieces I am sure.