Script Analysis of The Devil Wears Prada

by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright February 2017


Assignment: Comment on The Devil Wears Prada

Analyze the script in a 2-3 page, double-spaced paper.

The Analysis

- Structure (does the writer follow a 3-act structure format? What are the major plot points?)

o This opens with a start at the end, "How did I get here?", format. Only in this case the opening is not the end, it's the middle of the second act.

o page 64 -- the script itself labels this as a literal crossroads, Andy gives up. Then gets saved by one of her new friends coming through at the last moment.

o page 82 -- Miranda orders Andy to go to Paris. This is betraying Emily.

o page 90 -- The conflict between keeping her job, and keeping her friends, and keeping her old point of view on life.

o page 97 -- big Miranda crisis, divorce, then page 101, more crisis, getting replaced.

o page 103 -- adding even more crises now, Andy's dad has heart attack.

o page 107 -- Miranda is being clever and defending herself.

o page 112 -- Third act, Andy breaks from Miranda to go back to her old life, and with this comes the resolution.

- Character (What makes the lead characters interesting/compelling?)

o Miranda, boss, is a tyrant, hyper busy, and hyper concerned about both appearance and timing. She is a tyrant but she is not capricious, her choices are all made for good reasons, to move on her business.

o Emily and the rest of the crew understand Miranda's character and are acclimated to it. Andy is just learning. She is also trying to be herself in this world of prescriptionist appearance and ritual.

o Nate worries that Andy is loosing herself as she acclimates to this Miranda/fashion environment.

o Andy proves competent, and does lose herself during Act Two, but in Act Three decides to go back to being herself and leave the fashion and glamour behind.

- Theme (What are the film's major themes?)

o Showing a privileged lifestyle in the world of high fashion.

o In the story: Lots of people saying, "That's a great job you have. A million girls would kill for it." yet Andy going through personal hell to accomplish staying on this job.

o In the story: So much attention to detail. Related, getting things done with such precise timing.

o It is not clear why Andy got picked for this job. She certainly doesn't look right. But making her the protagonist serves the story well because she is a newbie so things must be explained to her.

- Tone (What is the genre of this script? How can you tell?)

o The genre is describing the fashion industry. This is a popular genre because lots of people are into fashion.

o The tone is how impossibly precise these fashion people are, at least those involved with Miranda and her company. The people around her and that she deals with are precise in their looks as well as what they wear.

- Uniqueness/memorable moments (What is the best part of the script, in your opinion? What makes this script different from others in the crime/thriller genre)

o First off, I saw this a few years ago when it came out. I did not find it memorable.

o Reading the script: what is memorable is how hyper-precise Miranda is, and how this spreads to those working around her.

o There is some witty dialog. That worked well. And Miranda cleverly protecting herself from plotters in the last quarter worked well.

Other things of note

o The script is quite well polished, I see few errors and few inconsistencies in this.

o I see lots of intent as well as visual and dialog directions in the script. This is something I hear my prescriptionist fellow movie script reviewers to keep out of my scripts.

o Coincidentally, this editorial about a Devil Wears Prada policy came out in the 28 Feb 17 issue of Forbes magazine.

Millennials Need This (GOP) Break by Amity Shlaes

From the article, "'A GOLDEN recommendation' for their second job is what most college grads dream of as they enter the workforce. Their first job, they are certain, will be an 18-month compromise, a pass-through position they take on to build résumés. The second job, the one that matches their plans, is the job they actually seek. But to get to that second post, they need a strong recommendation from an authority in the real world, not a professor. In other words, that golden recommendation from the boss at the initial compromise position."

It goes on to cite Devil Wears Prada as a movie about this happening.



--The End--