For those who haven't seen it, the film revolves around aspiring writer Andy (Anne Hathaway) who works a job she hates at Runway, a fashion magazine run by the notoriously difficult Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) It's silly, a little dumb, and probably the greatest movie ever made. For as much as I love it, though, there are still some glaring missteps about it that I can't ignore.
She gives a terrible interview! Not only is she totally wrong for the job, but she's also openly disdainful of it. She tells Miranda that the job is a last resort for her, saying "Basically it was either this or Auto Universe..." C'MON ANNE HATHAWAY! AT LEAST PRETEND TO BE ENTHUSIASTIC. Granted, I've never interviewed anyone, but I think if someone came to me and essentially said "Yeah, I don't really want this job, but it's my best option" I'd feel pretty justified in telling them to get the fuck out of my office. Yet somehow a super cliche speech about work ethic is enough to change Miranda's mind...?
I'll say it: I get why everyone at Runway hates Andy. She's kinda an asshole. Thinking the fashion industry is stupid is a perfectly acceptable opinion to have, but here's the thing: If that's how you feel, DON'T FUCKING WORK IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY! Look at the scene where she first sits in on one of Miranda's meetings. Andy watches as the room agonizes over the choice between very similar looking belts and then she LAUGH IN THEIR FUCKING FACES. That's the fashion world equivalent of inviting yourself into someone's home and then proceeding to openly mock their decorating choices.
It's a small quibble, but at one point Andy's chef boyfriend makes her a sandwich which he says contains $8 of cheese. Some light googling has told me that a pound of Jarlsberg costs about $10, meaning $8 worth is a SHIT TON OF CHEESE. Am I wrong for thinking it's weird that these struggling, New York bohemians are eating such fancy ass cheese sandwiches?!
As the movie progresses, we're supposed to believe that Andy perseveres and turns into this perfect assistant, but the truth is she just lucks out like a motherfucker. Arguably the only actually impressive thing she does over the course of the movie is get a copy of an unpublished Harry Potter manuscript for Miranda, but if stop to think about it you realize there was literally no skill involved there. All she does is call the one person she knows in publishing and he, by some miracle, knew the person doing the cover art for the book. When she hands Miranda the manuscript, we're supposed to think "Wow. She's so good at her job now!" but that's not really the case. It would be like calling someone "a shrewd investor" because they won the lottery.
At one point in the movie, Andy gets so frustrated by Miranda's antics that she chucks an entire uneaten steak, plate and all, into the sink. I mean, look at that! Not only is it a waste of what is probably a $50 piece of meat, but it also demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of what a sink is for. If you're going to dramatically throw a plate, at least do the sensible thing and throw it over a trash can.
Andy sucks, but her friends suck more. Throughout the film, her friends and boyfriend are constantly guilting Andy and telling her she's changed and it's basically because her job prevents her from hanging out with them as much. SHE'S AN ADULT. SHE HAS RESPONSIBILITIES. THIS IS NORMAL!
For all the contempt for the fashion world she displays early on, Andy doesn't seem to care that much when confronted with an actual, serious issue created by the industry. Her co-worker Emily (Emily Blunt) is literally starving herself to fit into clothing, and everyone (including Ms. High and Mighty Andy) is totally cool with it. At one point Emily describes her diet as "I don't eat anything and if I feel like I'm about to faint I eat a cube of cheese." THAT'S NOT OKAY. IF YOU HAD ANY DECENCY AT ALL YOU WOULD SAY SOMETHING!
The biggest conflict between Andy's work life and her personal life comes when she's forced to attend a gala on her boyfriend's birthday. She's in a rush to get home the entire time, and is so eager to leave that she doesn't even stop to talk to the Mentalist, even though he implies that it may lead to a writing job. Instead, she hops in a car races home....and somehow walks in holding a cupcake that she didn't have before..? If she was going to stop for anything, it shouldn't have been for a baked good.
When she inevitably quits her job, Andy demonstrates she's leaving the life behind by...throwing her phone in a Parisian fountain...? I get that she doesn't want to take Miranda's calls anymore, but does she really need to ruin a perfectly good phone in the process? Power buttons exist for a reason you know.
She's a national treasure, and I'll punch anyone who tries to argue otherwise.