When Favourites Disappoint: Revenge Wears Prada

A few disclaimers before we begin today’s post. First, I am an avid reader and lover of the genre known colloquially as ‘chick lit.’ I continue to love books by Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keyes and was thrilled to hear that a sequel to The Devil Wears Prada was coming out. Secondly, I loved The Devil Wears Prada the book and the movie. I have read all of Lauren Weisberger’s previous work and remember fondly making my way through Everyone Worth Knowing, sitting in my friend’s parent’s bakery with the most fantastic brownie you have ever tasted. Everyone Worth Knowing is my favourite of Weisberger’s books but obviously The Devil Wears Prada is a classic.

OK. Now that we have those points out of the way, let’s begin.

I just finished reading (a library copy of) Revenge Wears Prada and I hated it. Hated it.

Let me just reiterate that I love chick lit and Lauren Weisberger.

When we last saw Andy, she was on her way to doing her own thing, writing independently, not making any money doing it but she was doing things on her own terms. She had ended things with her seriously unsupportive boyfriend and figuring life out on her own. I related to this Andy. I cheered this Andy on.

revenge prada

Fast forward 10 years and we meet Andy on her wedding day. Her huge, over-the-top magazine-featured wedding. She’s marrying the son of a media dynasty and runs a successful, glamourous Runway-style wedding magazine. Soon she finds herself pregnant and any glimmer had of the old Andy is gone as she weeps at the idea of leaving her new baby and tries to shove her post-baby body into fancy clothes for a party.

The whole time she’s pining for Alex, the ex-boyfriend who didn’t understand why she would spend a year of her life working for Miranda Priestly, even though she kept telling him that it was temporary. She has a good looking, smart, caring husband and all she can think about is what life might have been like if only she had just stayed with Alex. We constantly flashback to life immediately after Runway and are supposed to be thrilled with this new success. And I was. The whole magazine thing was really fantastic. But it was ruined since we spend the entire book in Andy’s head and she just obsesses and overanalyzes everything.

Don’t even get me started on what we’ve done to Emily. Wonderful, hilarious, capable Emily is now married to a serial philanderer, a sleazy reality-tv show producer who barely conceals his many affairs. Originally united by their shared hatred of Miranda Priestly, Emily becomes obsessed with her over the course of the book and constantly tells Andy how she’s overreacting (which isn’t really off base) until she finally totally betrays their friendship.

And I hated that.

Mostly though, I wanted to like this book. I wanted to be delighted by a visit with these characters that I loved nearly 10 years ago. And I felt cheated. And preached at. And oh so disappointed.

Another score for the library though! I’m glad not to have shelled out for this one! I only gave it one star on Goodreads which I think is the lowest I’ve ever rated a book.


Books On Film

Have you guys seen this yet? Anne Hathaway cut off all her hair?! Brave girl – isn’t she getting married? I couldn’t do it even if there was a wedding in my future! (which, there isn’t. Just to be clear)

So evidently she lopped off her luscious locks (can we agree that Anne has lovely hair?) for a part in the movie version of Les Miserables.

I have not *gasp!* read Victor Hugo’s masterpiece. I know. I’m a failure at life. It’s on my list! But so are War and Peace and Bleak House and I haven’t done much about that either.

But like millions of other movie minions, now that there is a movie involved! I might actually get my butt in gear and read it. Amazing how a movie version will do that eh?

Considering The Hunger Games movie mania we are currently experiencing as well (have you seen it yet? I still have to go) I thought it might be fun to talk about some of the better movie adaptations out there. OK super nerdy but also? Super awesome.

I’d say at the top of my list are the Jane Austen adaptations. I’m talking about the BBC Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth naturally), Emma Thompson’s Sense and Sensibility, Gwyneth Paltrow’s  Emma and Mansfield Park with…actually I don’t know who was in that one. But it was terrific. All of these adaptations managed to capture the humour in all of Austen’s work as well as the swoon worthy aspects of the novels.

The adaptations of Roald Dahl are pretty great – I’m thinking Matilda and the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory of course. While I appreciate the artistic vision of Tim Burton’s version, it just didn’t’ have the same spirit as the Gene Wilder version. Matilda was so perfect from the terrifying Miss Trunchbull to the sweet Miss Honey and the disgusting Wormwood’s – minus the lovely Matilda of course. Considering how I turned out, it should come as no surprise that Matilda especially had a special place in my childhood so I’m glad that they got it right. As for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – there isn’t one among us that doesn’t have a favourite part, or treat or song and if I started singing ‘oompa loompa…’ you could probably help me finish off a verse.

Gone With the Wind. Can you say masterpiece? Margaret Mitchell’s epic tale of a Southern belle was masterfully adapted to the big screen. No expense was spared to create this film and decades later it still shows. The book itself is marvelous but there is nothing like watching Scarlet O’Hara on film.

I love the 1994 version of Little Women with Susan Sarandon and Wynonna Ryder. Kirsten Dunst as Amy was brilliantly spoiled and Clare Danes’ Beth was tragically sweet. It makes me bawl every time. I do love the version with Margaret O’Brien and Elizabeth Taylor but I can never get over how they switched the birth order and so for me, 1994 is always the preference.

My final choice is going to be…I can’t think of another one just now. What’s your favourite adaptation?