By: E&P Staff
Showing that at least some people — even if it’s just Hollywood screenwriters — still consider newspapers a symbol of integrity, the new movie “The Devil Wears Prada” finds the heroine abandoning the slick fashion and material world for a humble newspaper job.
After working for a supremely demanding boss played by Meryl Streep — modeled on Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue — the young graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism (played by wide-eyed Anne Hathaway) finally has enough. (As Leonard Cohen once put it, “I don’t like your fashion business, baby.”) She flees for a position at the fictional New York Mirror, a funky daily or perhaps an alt-weekly.
Just to make sure you get it, the filmmakers show us a kindly older editor, and a newsroom seemingly out of the 1950s with stacks and stacks of documents and papers piled up on desks.
The girl — the season’s second Lois Lane — shows the editor her clips from college, which include a series on a janitors’ strike. “That’s the kind of work we do here,” he assures her, in hiring her, no doubt at meager wages, on the spot.
Director David Frankel has worked as a journalist and reportedly comes from a “newspaper family.”
Frankel sent this letter to E&P on Thursday:
“The newspaper office in ‘The Devil Wears Prada,’ which you characterize as ‘out of the 1950s,’ is the actual newsroom of The New York Sun, which we shot in the fall of 2005 with no modifications. They actually do have ‘stacks and stacks of documents and papers piled up on desks.’ And there’s nothing ‘reportedly’ about my coming from a newspaper family; a little actual reporting would reveal that my father, Max Frankel, was executive editor of The New York Times, and my stepmother, Joyce Purnick, is a former columnist and reporter for The Times, which I do still consider ‘a symbol of integrity.'”