Monday, September 04, 2006

"The Devil Wears Prada" is Wickedly Funny

I watched “The Devil Wears Prada” over the weekend. Despite the buzz surrounding the film, I never felt the urge to watch it because I expected it to be just another "chick flick," the nuances of which only fashionistas could appreciate. I was convinced to watch the movie only after a little coaxing from the missus. But to my surprise, I enjoyed "The Devil Wears Prada" immensely.

“The Devil Wears Prada” is a movie adaptation of the bestselling book of the same title written by Laura Weisberger. Since Laura Weisberger used to work as an intern at Vogue Magazine, pundits claim that Miranda (Meryll Streep’s character) is really patterned after Anna Wintour, the iconic editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine and that the novel is actually a roman a clef of Weisberger's work experience there. When the novel first came out in 2003, it generated a stir in the U.S. fashion industry comparable to the buzz created by the anonymously-written "Primary Colors" in American political circles. In other words, the "Devil Wears Prada" is to fashion what "Primary Colors" is to politics.

Anyway, I enjoyed watching the movie not because of the fashion aspect of it but because I emphatized completely with the character of Anne Hathaway ("Andrea"). I was a fresh college graduate too when I started working for Senator Raul Roco and if you watched the movie, I will say in all honesty that the Andrea character was me. Roco was just as demanding and intellectually intimidating as Miranda, and if anyone asks me now how it was working for the late Senator Roco, I would tell him/her to just go watch "The Devil Wears Prada." The movie completely captures the atmosphere, the stress and the pressures, the highs and lows of working for someone who expects nothing less than the best from his staff. Also, I remember that just like Andrea, my Dad also encouraged me to resign seeing my situation ("the pay is bad, the hours you put in...") but I persisted. I became a "true-believer" and spent the better part of my professional carrer working for the man. I kept telling myself that I am learning many things and that after working for a guy as demanding as Roco, I will be prepared for anything. Aside from the invaluable "training," I also sort of "fooled" myself into believing that great things will happen for me and that employers will be impressed to see that I worked for him. Well, I got "trained" all right but I am still just a struggling, low-ranking, ordinary-salaried employee up to now. Of course, things would have been different if he won. But politics in the Philippines is a "winner-take-all" game and after our second (and most disastrous) stab at the Presidency, I find myself "starting all over again" professionaly.

Now that I no longer work for Roco, some people still cannot totally disassociate me from my former boss. It's like I do not have my own identity; people always see me "as the guy who worked for Roco." I remember that I used to be very careful about expressing my opinion on certain politicians and political matters because I was afraid people might construe it as reflective of Roco's opinion too. When faced with a dilemma, I find myself automatically asking what my former boss would do in a similar situation. Aside from that, I also acquired his taste for biographies and historical books, and I even have my barongs tailored at Philip's, his favorite tailoring shop. We in his staff call it "osmosis." Thank God I did not acquire his taste for flowery shirts.

Back to "The Devil Wears Prada," I strongly recommend you watch it. It is funny and highly entertaining and the clothes are not bad too. Although the plot is rather simple, the movie's visually stunning shots of New York and Paris, and the well-calibrated acting by Meryl Streep (I believe she will win the Oscar for this movie) and Anne Hathaway ("The Devil.." will do for her what "Lost in Translation" did for Scarlett Johannson's career) more than make up for it. "The Devil Wears Prada" is definitely a classic, a movie worth watching over and over again.

4 comments:

Dominique said...

Oh, I don't know: I think an association with Roco isn't bad at all. In fact, I'm looking forward to your book on the man ;-)

Willy Prilles Jr. said...

With our country in deep shit, it is in fact something we CAN BE PROUD of.

Iloilo City Boy said...

A "roman a clef" on my work experience with the man? Hmmm, I'll think about it...

bananas said...

Roco was on my mind when I turned 18 and was already qualified to vote. My friends back in college also agreed with me that Roco could be the man.

He never made it up there but he wasn't at all a failure to most of us who believed in him.

On Prada--I went to the mall yesterday with two of my friends thinking that Prada is already being shown as it is in Manila (my friend told me).

As of this writing, Sam Milby is still dominating the screens. Sigh...