The Devil Wears Prada Review

by - March 26, 2015

The Devil Wears Prada
Lauren Weisberger
  • The Author Biograph
The author of this novel is Lauren Weisberger. She is an American novelist who was born on March 28,1977, in Scranton, Pennsylvania with her school teacher mother and broker father. She lives in a Jewish family. She spent her early youth in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, a small town outside Scranton. When she was in 11 years old, her parents divorced. She and her younger sister, Mindy, moved to Allentown, Pennsylvania, in Lehigh Valley region state with their mother. Weisberger had her school at Parkland high school in South Whitehall Township near Allentown. She was involved in Intramural sport and graduated in 1995. Her next education step is in Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, United State. She took an English major and also sorority member of Alpha Epsilon Phi. She graduated in 1999. After college, she travelled as a backpacker through Europe, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Thailand, India, Nepal, and Hongkong. After returning to the United States, Lauren Weisberger moved to Manhattan, New York, and began working. Weisberger’s first job was an assistant to the Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour at Vogue. After Vogue, she wrote reviews for Departures magazine, a high-end travel and lifestyle magazine. While working there, she began taking writing courses at night. She then wrote the The Devil Wears Prada. The novel was published in April 2003, spent a year on the New York Times Bestseller List, and it sold in over 34 countries. Additionally, the novel’s popularity piqued Fox 2000’s interest, and it was made into a major motion picture. Weisberger also had a short cameo in the film. The novel centers on a small-town girl who is hired to work as an assistant to a high-profile editor for Runway magazine. It means that the story of The Devil Wears Prada is her autobiographic and it exists in more than 4 million copies and became the Golden Globe award winning motion picture starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. Her other books are Everyone Worth Knowing which was published in October 2005, Chasing Harry Winston, which was also a New York Times bestseller, Last Night at Chateau Marmont which was published in 2010, and Revenge Wears Prada, a sequel to The Devil Wears Prada released on June 4, 2013.
  • Booklist:
2013          Revenge Wears Prada
2010          Last Night at Chateau Marmont
2008          Chasing Harry Winston
2005          Everyone Worth Knowing
2003          The Devil Wears Prada

  • The Plot of The Devil Wears Prada
This novel is all about a young unfashionable woman named Andrea Sachs, who newly graduated from Brown University, the English Department of Brown majoring in creative writing and moved into New York City in hopes of getting a job in the publishing industry as a journalist of The New Yorker. However, Andy instead gets a job as the junior personal assistant for Miranda Priestly, the editor-in-chief of Runway magazine, also the greatest editor and the most influential person in fashion industry.She is also highly demanding and dictatorial and she is the nightmare boss.
Initially, Andy is hesitant to take the job, by considering that she knows nothing of high fashion and this does not really help her out in getting her dream job as a journalist of The New Yorker . She was never really concerned to the clothes she was wearing. She used to wear sweatpants to school and any other clothes that made her comfortable. But, Andy decides to take the job after being told that if she can survive being Miranda’s personal assistant for a year, she can get any job in the magazine industry that she wants.
Andrea Sach’s family consists of father, mother and her sister. Her relationship
with her family is so close. Her parents are so caring. She often plays scrabble with her father
while having a talk. She is also so close to Alex, her boyfriend and Lily, her close friend.
Travelling, spending the night, and having dinner are what they used to do. This does not last
until she works at Runway magazine. Working at Runway magazine as junior assistant of Miranda Priestly takes all Andrea’s attention. Her job description is actually anticipating and accommodating Priestly’s needs but it begins going astray because she has to accommodate and to arrange Miranda’s twin-daughter’s and her husband’s needs as well. She is always panic and stressed out every time she gets a demanding call from Miranda Priestly. It is because of Miranda’s impatience and intolerance. She once wants to quit the job because of it.
Moreover, her working-hour is so long. Her official working-hour is fourteen
hours, from 7 AM to 10 PM. However, she even is usually allowed to go home around
midnight. She has to come earlier than everybody else does. Enjoying weekends is almost
impossible because Miranda still keeps haunting her with the demanding calls. Andrea has no
other choice; she has to ‘work’. She does not feel happy with this.
There are some unwritten rules that Andrea has to obey. Firstly, she has to wear
high fashioned clothes since she represents Runway. Andrea Sach is not really interested in
fashion. She does not feel comfortable with all the stuff. Every time she wears high heels, she
has to suffer pain in her knees for weeks. Secondly, the rule is about food. All the staff are
also “not allowed” to eat meals freely. Every time one of them takes fatty food, people around her/him will look at him/her strangely. They have to watch out their weight, and so does Andrea Sach. Those are also example of work demands she has to satisfy. The unwritten rules push Andrea Sach to wear clothes which she is not comfortable with. The long working hours make her have conflicts with people close to her. Because of her job, she has a fight with Alex, her boyfriend, and it makes them have a break. Lily, Andrea Sach’s close friend, gets mad to her because of the same case. Her job also leads
her to her absence to her sister baby birth even though it will let her family down. However, that she gets conflicts because of her job does not make her quit. She still thinks that her job will get her closer to her dream job. The thought is what make her decide to fly to Paris to accompany Miranda Priestly. The decision leads her into dilemma. The dilemma grows because she has to choose whether to come back home because of Lily’s getting accident or to stay in Paris to accompany Miranda Priestly. Andrea Sach finds it is difficult. However, Andrea’s endurance to work in Runway to gain her dream job finally comes to an end. She decides to fly back home. She gets fired after then. Her getting fired by Miranda Priestly and being off of Runway enable her to fix her relationship up. Her relationship with her family and Lily is like it used to be. Relationship with Alex is getting close as well even though they are not dating any longer.
A.    The Beginning
The story begins with a flash forward. Andrea, the main character, is stuck in the traffic of New York City. Her boss Miranda is not clear about what she wants Andrea to do. Andrea is driving in the Porsche of Miranda but she doesn’t know exactly what to do with it. At the same Miranda calls on her cell phone. Andrea has to pick up Madeline but she doesn’t know who Madeline is, where she can find her and where she has to bring her. Andrea is afraid that she’s going to get fired. The beginning of the story already tells the readers that working for the editor of Runway magazine, is really hard. Andrea has to work hard if she doesn’t want to get fired.
B.     Rising Action
The first working weeks for Andrea are not that easy. Andrea doesn’t know anything about how things are going at the editorial office of a fashion magazine. The first task for Andrea is to get a skirt and send it to the place where her boss Miranda is gone on vacation. She think that this is easy done but that’s not true at all. Miranda isn’t very clear about what she wants. She didn’t tell Andrea and Emily (the other assistant) what kind of skirt she wants and where they have to get it. Emily has already worked a year for Miranda so she knows how to deal with this. She sends Andrea to some places to pick up some skirts and eventually Emily chooses the right one. This task was done successfully and Andrea is glad. But she realizes that is was only the first task. There would be tasks that are even more difficult.
Furthermore, she doesn’t have time anymore for her best friend Lily and her boyfriend Alex. When Andrea isn’t at work, she’s too tired to do something or Miranda suddenly calls her so eventually she’s working again. This causes conflicts between Andrea and her friends. Andrea hates her boss and the fact that everybody at Runway has admiration for Miranda. She even wears expensive clothes from famous designers because some people said she was humiliating herself. All these things don’t make the job easy.
C.    Climax
The climax of the novel is when Andrea finally realizes that this isn’t the way she wants to live. She sacrifices too much for the job. Andrea is going to Paris with Miranda, since Emily was sick. When she’s in Paris, Lily suddenly gets an accident and is in the hospital, in a coma. Andrea has to decide whether to go home and get fired, or stay in Paris for a couple more days so she can finish the year of working at Runway. After Andrea told Miranda that she’d stay in Paris, Miranda tells her that Andrea reminds her of herself when she was young. Andrea is shocked. She doesn’t want to become like Miranda. When Miranda tells her something about not doing her job properly, she knows what she has to do. She tells her what she really thinks and decides to go home. Of course Andrea was fired right away. Andrea writes some stories and she gets an opportunity to write for Seventeen magazine. Andrea can get along with these people very well. She’s happy that those people appreciate her writing. It looks like she can finally do what she always wanted.
D.    Falling Action
The major conflict was that Andrea forgets what the most important things in her life are. She wants to become writer so badly, that she would do this horrible job. She’s more fixated on her job. In Paris she finally realizes that her family is way more important than her job that she already hated so badly. Lily needed her and if she’d stay in Paris, she wouldn’t forgive herself for that. Now that Andrea quit the job, she has enough time again for her family and friends. That way the minor conflicts are resolved as well. The relationship with Alex wasn’t going very well. Andrea isn’t the same person anymore and Alex feels that he doesn’t love her anymore. They decide to break up and stay friends.
E.     Denouement
The main things that helped to resolve the plot is the accident that Lily got. Due to this, Andrea decides to quit the job because that’s the best thing to do. Another thing that helped to resolve the plot is that Miranda told Andrea that she reminds her of herself. Andrea hates the idea that she would become the same as Miranda so she starts to think that this isn’t what she really wants.
  • Setting Place  
The production of the movie took place during fall 2005 in New York and Paris. The crew of this movie took the principal photography over 57 days in New York and Paris between October and December 2005.

West 39th Street and 7th Avenue, Manhattan.

7th Avenue is also known as Fashion Avenue.
New York
1.      The McGraw-Hill building on sixth Avenue was used for exteriors and lobby of Elias Clarke’s headquarters.

2.      The movie production partially takes in busy New York street scenes in the background, to convey the excitement of working in a glamorous industry in New York.
3.      The Runway offices are partially corridors in the neighboring Fox building and partially sets.
4.      The Elias-Clarke cafeteria is the one at the Reuters office in Manhattan.
5.      Nate and Andy's apartment is on the Lower East Side at 252 Broome Street and Orchard Street, Manhattan
6.      The Priestly townhouse is on 129 East 73rd Street and Lexington Avenue, the Upper East Side, Manhattan.
7.      Streep exits her limousine, supposedly in Paris, at 77th Street and Central Park West.
8.      The New York Mirror newsroom where Andrea gets hired at the end of the film is that of the New York Sun at 105 Chambers Street and Church Street, Manhattan.
9.       Andy celebrates her new job at Runway magazine: Bubby’s, Hudson Street, Tribeca, New York also The restaurant Nate works at.

10.  Andy’s dinner with her father is disrupted by another phone call from Miranda at Craft, East 19th Street, New York
1.      The fashion shows were filmed on a soundstage in Queens.
2.       Andy finally dumps her mobile into the fountain: Place de la Concorde, Paris

The McGraw-Hill Building on Sixth Avenue was used for the exteriors and lobby of Elias-Clark's headquarters.
·         About The Production of The Movie
        After three years this novel released, the movie version with the same title based on the novel came out. The movie version released on June 30, 2006 by 20th Century Fox and produced by Wendy Finerman. She was one of three producers who won the Academy Award for Best Picture for Forrest Gump in 1994 and a BAFTA Award for Fairy Tale in 1998. It also directed by David Frankle whose won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for his 1996 short film Dear Diary and an Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series for the pilot episode of Entourage in 2004, and has since directed the successful studio films The Devil Wears Prada  in 2006, Marley & Me in 2008, and Hope Springs in 2012.
Directed by
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on
Music by
Edited by
Distributed by
Release dates
June 30, 2006
Running time
109 minutes
United States

  • The Characters
1.      Andrea Sachs (Anne Hathaway), the girl who graduated from Brown University and hired as a junior assistant in fashion magazine industry. In this novel and movie, she is a smart girl with an old-fashion style, easy going, and has a good attitude.
2.      Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), she is an editor-in-chief of Runway and influential woman in that fashion magazine. She also the main antagonist who dominates the mood of this story with a strong, perfectionist, bossy, and charismatic personality. In the movie, she always looks chic with a branded sun glasses and curly short grey hair, also fashionable in every situation. She also earned critical praise, a win for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Actress nomination as Miranda
3.      Emily Charlton (Emily Blunt) who is a Miranda’s senior assistant. She is a hard worker and loyal to her job. She is talkative girl and her dream is going to Paris with Miranda in Paris fashion week. She looks like hate Andy but she always help her whenever she can.
4.      Alex Fineman (Adrian Grenier), Andrea’s boyfriend, who teach an elementary school in the south Bronx through teach for America.
5.      Lily Goodwin (Tracie Thoms), a free-spirited graduate student in Russian literature at Columbia with curly black hair, who rooms with Andrea.
6.      Nigel (Stanley Tucci), a very tall British gay man as a Runway’s creative director.
7.      Doug (Rich Sommer), a college friend of Andrea, Nate and Lily who works as a corporate research analyst. He also shows an extensive knowledge of fashion, Runway magazine, and Miranda Priestly.
8.      James (Daniel Sunjata), another gay man at Runway who work at beauty department, also as Andrea’s bestfriend.
9.      Jeffy, he is responsible for transforming Andrea’s fashion style into more fashionable while working at Runway magazine.
10.  Eduardo, a security guard at Elias-Clarke building..
11.  Christian Collinsworth (Simon Baker), a handsome young writer that Andrea meets at a party, where they develop a mutual attraction.
12.  Caroline and Cassidy, the twin daughter of Miranda.
13.  Cara, the girl who saves Andrea’s skin more than once but unfortunately she gets fired by Miranda.
14.  Jill, Andrea’s older sister, who married and lives in Houston.
15.  The Clackers, the magazine female editorial staffers. Andrea gives them a nickname for the sounds of their Stiletto.
16.  Benjamin, He is Lily’s ex-boyfriend.
  • The Significant Differences Between Novel and Movie
Eventually, there are some differences between novel and movie version even both of them written and inspired by the same author.
1.      In the book, the story start with Andy business on the way at the intersection of 17th Broadway while driving a car and suddenly Miranda calls her to finish some job. But at the movie, the story begin with Andrea whom preparing her resume and gets her breakfast before she goes to Elias-Clarke building.
2.      In the novel written that Andrea Sachs is a smoker, but at the movie version she is not a smoker
3.      Andy is specifically mentioned numerous times as being blonde. But, in the movie, Anne Hathaway has brown hair.
4.      The book also written that Andy’s relationship with her boyfriend is over, but the fact is they might rekindle the romance at the movie.
5.      The character of Miranda Priestly, the editor of Runway who refuses to share elevators with others and dismisses everyone with a cold “That’s all,” is loosely based on Vogue editor Anna Wintour (whose nickname in fashion circles is “Nuclear Wintour”). In the book, she is a controlling, emotionally abusive, irredeemable figure but the film gives her depth.
6.      At the ending of the book, the writer wrote that Andy sells her clothes to make money, and gives a Chanel purse to her Mother and a dress to a girl who had written to Miranda, however at the movie, she gives all of her clothes to Emily.
7.      Miranda always wore a white Hermès scarf but it did not always happen on the movie.
8.      Another difference is on the book, Andrea's boyfriend is named Alex Fineman, and he is an elementary school teacher, while at the movie, his name is Nate Cooper and he is a cook in a restaurant.
9.      In Lilly's personality. This character is totally different in the novel and in the movie. In the first one she relates herself with many different men, drinks a lot and incentives Andrea to have a relationship with Christian without guilt because of Alex, but in the film she is a serious and frump person that disapproves Andrea’s interest in Christian.
10.  Andy graduated from Brown University,but the movie shows that she graduated from Northwestern University.
11.  In the book, Andy finally has enough of Miranda controlling her life and curses Miranda out to her face. Andy is then subsequently fired. In the movie, this is all much less dramatic and all we see is Andy throw her cell phone out in a fountain and we never see Miranda fire her.
  • The Opinion
From  my point of view, this novel is really good for the teenagers and college students, especially for readers who wants to know more about fashion industry and how it feels when they work there. The author try to tell the readers about 23 years old woman's daily life after graduate her education at the college. Weisberger also  presents the conditions of high-end society life.
This novel also gives Andy's journey story to reach her dream job, tell the reader some survival lessons for our first office job. Such as, never ask your boss anything, first impressions are everything, always know the important people in your field, complaining only gets you nowhere, do not procrastinate your job, always bring your ideas to work, and so on.
I think it’s a bit difficult to find the message in the book but it has to do with being yourself. When Andrea starts working at Runway magazine, she doesn’t care about fashion at all. She hates the job and she promises herself that she will never become like the other girls who have been working there. Later on she starts to like fashion. The fashion industry changes her, even though she never wanted that to happen. I also think the theme has to do with ambition. Andrea wants to become writer for The New Yorker so badly that she’s able to do this hard job. Miranda Priestly can have a big influence on the job Andrea will get in the future. If she does her job well, the possibility that she can work at the New Yorker will be bigger. This is what Andrea thinks about when she considers quitting or giving up and get fired. I think the writer wants to say: Do whatever it takes to reach the goal that you want to reach, but beware that you don’t change on the journey to that goal.

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