Warning: gushing ahead. Full on admiration for Streep, full disclosure that the wonky morals of this fantasy aside, the Hound loved The Devil Wears Prada, and has put the movie on the list of kick-ass moments for women. (Cate Blanchett playing Elizabeth is also on this list...and I hope I'll be adding the sequel, shooting now I believe). She's funny, she's frightening, not your typical queen of mean, in fact not since Life & Loves of a She Devil have I seen Streep have so much fun... And she looked fabulous as Miranda Priestly, editor in Chief of "Runway" magazine.
Okay, I haven't read the book and am not even tempted to, and yes, it's a commercial venture, mainstream, sappy music, overly pointed emotional moments, dripping with chick-flick dressage, the stuff of continental flights etc., but that's how hungry we are to see women with a modicum of power! This is how low we will slither to delight in a woman kicking some bloody ass... And Streep does kick ass. The movie is worth watching just to see Streep having so much fun being such a devil. But I was quite taken with the relationship between Priestly and her assistant, Hathaway (Whom I did not expect to like, but then why not? She was great in Brokeback Mountain.).
Of course at the center of the movie, and a question that is burning for me of late, is the question of power. Particularly women and power. How do women handle it? How do we get it and keep it? How do we pass it on? How do we mentor? This character shouldn't be a role model, but I love that she makes her assistants jump through more hoops than a pair of circus dogs...come on. They are learning the ropes--and one thing the movie shows is that being your best is work. And it is. Call me a sadist, but I dream of being pushed to be ever better...Who wouldn't want to have that kind of mentorship? Tell me honestly, those of you who are women, have you been mentored? Wouldn't you love to be mentored?
I made a list of powerful women in my life and I was surprised at the number--near twenty! I wouldn't have guessed that. My exact scientific methods shall not be disclosed, but I assure you the list of requirements was lengthy, but open enough to wind up with two 3 year olds as well as several over 70. The only thing we noticed that these women (females I suppose considering the 3 year olds...), had in common was that all of them did not defer to men. Otherwise they are quite different in their power and how they hold it.