The Devil Wears Prada (PG)

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The Independent Culture

This twinkly New York comedy is directed by a Sex & The City veteran, which could be why it seems so much like a pilot for a sitcom entitled Carrie Bradshaw: The Early Years. In fact, it's based on Lauren Weisberger's best-selling roman à clef about her stint at Vogue. Anne Hathaway stars as Andy Sachs, an aspiring reporter who lands a job answering the phones and collecting the drycleaning for a fashion magazine's icy editor. Sachs views the job as a stepping stone, but after a few weeks of glamorous parties and shoes you need a mortgage for, her priorities and her diet begin to change, as her self-righteous friends never fail to remind her. Will she come to realise, perhaps, that integrity and friendship are more important than career advancement?

It's all as predictable as a model's route up and down the catwalk, which is not to say that it doesn't have its pleasures. Meryl Streep is show-stopping as the editor with the style of Cruella DeVille and the monotone of someone who's bored of being right all the time. Stanley Tucci is waspish as her right-hand man, and Emily Blunt, playing another tightly wound colleague, will have you wishing that her character was the heroine, not Hathaway's. With the drippy Sachs in the spotlight, all the film has to tell us is that people in the fashion world are thin, and that bosses can be, well, bossy.

n.barber@independent.co.uk

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