What make this a little delight are the performances rather than the plot, which is Girls’ Own story-lite. In David Frankel’s adaptation of Lauren Weisberger’s bestselling novel, Meryl Streep plays the editor of a powerful New York fashion magazine, her character being clearly based on Anna “Nuclear” Wintour, the terrifying editor of Vogue. It’s a lovely performance, full of softly spoken menace, wounding put-downs and impossible demands. Into her empire, as assistant to Streep’s assistant Emily Blunt, comes newly graduated Anne Hathaway, who wins grudging approval by securing, as ordered, two manuscript copies of an as-yet unpublished Harry Potter novel. To Streep this makes her “the smart fat girl”, fat only because she can’t get into a size zero dress. The story, which includes a collapsing marriage, Hathaway being torn between two men and the nervous Blunt’s envy of her own assistant, unfolds to a predictable conclusion, but it’s so nicely played that what actually happens doesn’t seem to matter much.
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