Book vs Movie: The Devil Wears Prada

Posted October 17, 2014 by Inge in Book vs Movie, Features / 10 Comments

Welcome to another Book vs Movie! This time I’ll be comparing The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger to The Devil Wears Prada the movie, made in 2006.

The movie is one of those movies that they play on television every now and then, and is one that I’ll usually watch when it’s on. It’s one of those movies that doesn’t really get boring, even if you’ve seen it four times. So that’s why, when I saw the book at my local library, I decided to give it a try.

The story in itself needs to be taken with a giant grain of salt, and don’t worry about the calories – because this talks about the fashion world and its ridiculous rules, how size zero is beautiful, and going on diets where you don’t eat anything. It’s really interesting to see an outsider being thrown into this crazy world, but it’s definitely not to be taken seriously. Pop a pizza in the oven and laugh along while your thighs jiggle.

The book

It’s never a good idea to watch the movie before reading the book, but I’m afraid that’s what happened here. I don’t know if I would’ve liked the book better had I gotten my hands on it first. I just couldn’t help thinking it wasn’t as good.

The general storyline is more or less similar, but the subplots were different. It’s these subplots that bothered me. For instance, Andrea lives with her best friend Lily, who is an alcohol and a slut. I know slut-shaming is wrong, but this was a serious case, and I was judging her so bad. If you can’t remember sleeping with the guy who’s currently smoking crack next to you in bed, you need to re-evaluate your life choices. I don’t know, I didn’t really appreciate that in a book that is otherwise quite funny.

Then there’s Nigel. Oh, poor Nigel, what have they done to you? Book-Nigel is a raging homo who wears catsuits and WHO TALKS IN CAPITALS ALL THE TIME. I think you get my point here. This got very old very quickly. Luckily, he’s not a very big part of the book.

It was also too long. I read it in two days, but I grew bored at times. I think the story is great material for a movie, but it’s not very interesting to read about a woman getting coffee every time.

Overall, I’m glad I gave it a try, but I had some serious issues with the book that I could not simply ignore.

The movie

The movie is a different matter altogether. Now, this movie is all kinds of awesome.

We start with the amazing cast. Meryl Streep is the perfect Miranda Priestly. She’s got her horrifc characteristics down to a T. Thank God for Stanley Tucci portraying Nigel as well. Rather than a catsuit-wearing screamer, he’s a little sassy, but still kind of caring. These two, for me, are the absolute highlights of the movie.

The pacing just works a lot better as well. You have Andrea picking up coffee, but it only takes a couple minutes here, and you still get the idea.

I also liked Lily a lot better because she wasn’t an alcoholic whore, and having Andrea living together with her boyfriend gave me a better picture of their relationship going down the drain. You can really sense the moments where Andrea slowly changes into a Clacker, and the turning point for Nate.

The verdict

This is an absolute no-brainer. I somewhat enjoyed reading the book, but I don’t feel like I’ve really learned anything extra from it – the movie portrayed everything splendidly. You bet your size six ass that the movie is victorious.

That’s all.

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10 responses to “Book vs Movie: The Devil Wears Prada

  1. Smokemare

    Maybe a film director gets a chance to spot the problems in a book and edit them out? I think some stuff works great on the page – but not so on the screen. It kind of bugged me that Peter Jackson skipped the Barrow Downs and Tom Bombadil, plus he killed off Saruman at the wrong part and completely re-wrote the end of the book, almost defeating the whole object! Making it so the Hobbits had grown in stature so much they could defend their home themselves! Still loved the movie though, and the books, you almost have to treat them separately.

    • Like you said, some things just work better in a book or in a movie. I’m sure Peter Jackson had his reasons, and you can definitely enjoy both. I suppose you’re right in saying a film director can edit out the problems in the book. I don’t think Lily the alcoholic hussy would’ve made a good addition to the movie.

    • MERYL STREEP. I hear you, she was soo good! And I watched the movie again after reading the book, and she brought that character to life so perfectly. They didn’t change Miranda Priestly at all, she was just IT.

  2. Valeria@A Touch of Book Madnes

    I love this movie, but I don’t think I would enjoy the book much. I have to disagree with you when you say that watching the movie first is never a good idea, because more times than not, fans of the book tend to get dissapointed when their favourite books get turned into movies. But when you see the movie and then experience and even greater book, then you’ve had fun with both of them. This sounds like a rare case where the movie is in fact better than the book, but in my experience this doesn’t happen very often.

    • I suppose that was a generalisation on my behalf 🙂 Sometimes, having seen the movie beforehand ruins the book. Or maybe not “ruin”, but you know what’s going to happen, and your reading experience is different. Doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, but I know it can be. This is definitely one of those rare “movie is better than book” cases, which is a shame. I liked the idea, it just worked better on the screen.

    • You could always give it a try if you see it at the library or something – that’s what I did. But I can’t say I really learned anything new from reading the book, because the storylines were different, and I prefer the movie stories.

  3. I think if you had read the book first you may have liked it better than you did. I read the book when it first came it and loved it. It still stands out in my memory as this great book I read (and re-read) in my late teens/early 20s. I liked the movie – obviously Meryl Streep is flawless as Miranda Priestly – but overall I didn’t love it. It’s been YEARS since I read the book, but my wife just listened to the audiobook, never having read it before and she really liked it. Then she decided we had to watch the movie. I found I liked the movie a lot better this time around, so many years removed from the book. I do really like the way they ended the movie, i think it was better than the book ending.

    • I think you’re right! I do think I would have liked the book better if I had read it first. But I watched the movie before I even knew about the book, so I was doomed from the start. 😀 Meryl Streep made the movie, honestly.

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