Over ten years ago a cinematic masterpiece arrived on the big screen. A cast full of Oscar nominated actors and actress, nominated for best costume design, and pure gold in everyone’s heart, young and old. The Devil Wears Prada has shaped the lives of everyone who watches it. Ok… maybe that’s a little bit of a stretch.
The Devil Wears Prada was created in 2006 and yet you can still see it at least once a week if you have access to basic cable. It is easy to quote, has several useful gifs you can use for twitter, and is probably most famous for the Meryl Streep speech about a blue, I mean cerulean, sweater. I even had college professors use this scene in their lectures! It’s very versatile.
Everyone still has their favorite part and it is not always the rant about cerulean sweaters. Everyone has their favorite quotes or memes or gifs that they prefer to use over the famous monologue. I am here to tell you that Streep’s monologue is not the best in the film. The best speech lies in the shadows of Meryl Streep’s performance (like many things I’m sure. It’s Meryl Streep for goodness sake). The best monologue in the movie is given by Stanley Tucci who plays the role of Nigel.
Am I bias? Maybe. But hear me out. Nigel is a very important part in the movie. Without him Andy would not have her ah-ha moment at the end of the movie. It was Miranda’s action towards Nigel that made Andy not want to work with her or in the industry anymore. He is kind of a big deal for the plot! So much that he was included in the miracle makeover Andy went through half way through the movie. (Side note: Does Anne Hathaway enjoy playing dumpy girls who get makeovers and then realize that being pretty on the outside doesn’t mean you’re pretty on the inside? I’m talking about you Princess Diaries) Which gets to my point.
Whiney little Andy comes to Nigel to complain about how her boss is such a B with an itch and so begins the best part of the movie.
Nigel: Andy, be serious. You are not trying. You are whining. What is it that you want me to say to you, huh? Do you want me to say, “Poor you. Miranda’s picking on you. Poor you. Poor Andy”? Hmm? Wake up, six. She’s just doing her job. Don’t you know that you are working at the place that published some of the greatest artists of the century? Halston, Lagerfeld, de la Renta. And what they did, what they created was greater than art because you live your life in it. Well, not you, obviously, but some people. You think this is just a magazine, hmm? This is not just a magazine. This is a shining beacon of hope for… oh, I don’t know… let’s say a young boy growing up in Rhode Island with six brothers pretending to go to soccer practice when he was really going to sewing class and reading Runway under the covers at night with a flashlight. You have no idea how many legends have walked these halls. And what’s worse, you don’t care. Because this place, where so many people would die to work you only deign to work. And you want to know why she doesn’t kiss you on the forehead and give you a gold star on your homework at the end of the day. Wake up, sweetheart.
Nigel does not sugar coat anything with Andy. He is also not catty or demeaning. He is simply laying out the truth for her. I believe this is the best scene of the movie because it is so much more realistic and relatable than Streep’s Monologue. There has been a time in everyone’s lives where we needed a Nigel to crash our pity party and bring us back to reality. We have all need a Nigel to be blunt and tell it like it is so we stop complaining and start doing something. We all need a Nigel to call us by our dress size…. ok maybe that’s just me (more to come about my hatred for weight loss). We all need someone to pick us up when we are down but that does not always mean coddling. Sometimes it means someone calling us out on our bullshit so we can get up and dust ourselves off.
The Devil Wears Prada may not be a cinematic masterpiece. It is an average film that has been picked apart over the 10 years of it’s existence. But it still has a place in most people’s DVRs. I still love this movie and will watch it whenever I come across it, even if it’s just for a few minutes. I think that as people grow they see things they did not see when they were younger, things that relate to them now. Maybe I now see how I use to be an Andy until I found my Nigel.