The Devil Wears Prada| 2006
- DIRECTOR |
- David Frankel
Writer Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway), looking to start a career in serious journalism, somehow lands a job as second assistant to fearsome editor Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) at ultra-glossy fashion mag Runway (in no way to be confused with fearsome editor Anna Wintour at ultra-glossy fashion mag Vogue).
The modest Lower East Side apartment she shares with boyfriend Nate (Adrian Grenier) is 252 Broome Street, at Orchard Street, though she catches the subway to her job interview at Spring Street Station in SoHo.
The unlikely candidate Andy ends up being interviewed for the job by Miranda Priestly herself, at the West 48th Street entrance to the McGraw-Hill Building, 1221 6th Avenue, standing in for the offices of the fictitious ‘Elias-Clarke Publications’.
Nate works as a cook in Bubby's, 120 Hudson Street, at North Moore Street in Tribeca, launched in 1990 as a place to get traditional American food, with its unmissable cow grazing on the sidewalk. It’s here Andy celebrates her new job with her friends, and it’s outside Bubby's that Nate fails to
recognise her after she’s given a radical makeover.
Andy’s visiting father begins to worry that the job is starting to take over her life when their meal at Craft, 43 East 19th Street, between Broadway and Park Avenue in the Flatiron District, is interrupted by a call from Miranda demanding Andy immediately book her a flight.
The glamorous job briefly makes Andy the height of popularity as she hands out designer freebies to her pals at The Coffee Shop, 29 Union Square West at East 16th Street. But another call from the demanding Miranda soon starts to turn things sour. The Coffee Shop is a good place for that late night refresher – it’s open til 5.30am.
The call sends Andy to the studio of designer James Holt (Daniel Sunjata) to pick up a sketch for Miranda’s dress, at 56 Crosby Street, in SoHo, where she meets writer writer Christian Thompson (Simon Baker). This is also where a simple purse of the lips from Miranda consigns the design to the dustbin.
Andy realises she’s been accepted when she’s asked to deliver ‘the book’ (the mock-up of of the current magazine), along with the dry cleaning, to the editor’s elegant townhouse at 129 East 73rd Street, at Lexington Avenue on – where else? – the Upper East Side.
Among her other exciting tasks are collecting a lunchtime steak for her boss from Smith and Wollensky, 797 3rd Avenue, at East 49th Street, Midtown East, while attempting to get hold of JK Rowling’s as-yet unpublished manuscript for the next Harry Potter book.
Smith and Wollensky was opened in 1977 at the site of another venerable New York institution – Manny Wolf's Steakhouse – by Alan Stillman (founder of the TGI Friday chain). The trusty-sounding names Smith and Wollensky were picked at random from the New York phone directory.
Amazingly, Andy does manage to land a copy of the Harry Potter book, which she picks up from Christian in the King Cole Bar of the St Regis Hotel, 2 East 55th Street.
The bar, with its Old King Cole mural painted in 1905 for John Jacob Astor by Maxfield Parrish, is a natural for the screen, having appeared in Woody Allen’s Radio Days and Hannah And Her Sisters, as well as The First Wives Club.
Andy even gets an invite to the glitzy benefit held at the American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, as first assistant Emily (Emily Blunt) succumbs to a heavy cold. This is, of course, where Ben Stiller works in Night At The Museum (well, on the outside it is).
Andy is faced with a dilemma when Miranda asks her to replace Emily on a jaunt to the much-anticipated Paris fashion show. The problem is soon sorted out when Emily is knocked down by a car after picking up scarves for Miranda from Hermès Boutique, 690 Madison Avenue, at East 62nd Street.
So it’s off to Paris by night – and a sprinkling of establishing nighttime shots – Scribe Hotel, Maxim’s – but much of the European sequence was filmed back in New York.
The hotel room, supposedly at the ‘Plaza Athenée’, where Andy gets a glimpse of the vulnerable Miranda, sans make-up, is back at the St Regis Hotel, in its Presidential Suite.
Although it is a French restaurant – in terms of cuisine – you’ll find the typical ‘Parisian’ restaurant where Andy enjoys an evening with Christian on New York’s East Side. It was L’Absinthe, which stood at 227 East 67th Street at 3rd Avenue for 20 years until suddenly – and unexpectedly – closing in 2014.
And Christian’s chic hotel, where Andy discovers about the secret plans lined up for Runway magazine, is the W Times Square, 1567 Broadway.
Don’t worry – there are some real Paris locations. The street along which Andy and Christian stroll, with Notre Dame Cathedral looming behind them, is rue Frédéric Sauton, running south from Quai de Montebello to rue de la Bucherie, where they sneak a crafty snog.
The Parisian fashion show is held at Musée Galliera, 10 avenue Pierre-1er-de-Serbie, in the 16th arrondissement, off Avenue d’Iéna, running south from l’Étoile. It’s actually a museum of fashion, currently closed but scheduled to reopen in autumn 2013.
Disillusioned with the machinations of the fashion publishing world, Andy finally dumps her mobile into the elaborate fountain in Place de la Concorde and quits the environment she never quite fitted into.
It’s back to her original intentions as she lands a job in ‘proper’ journalism at the offices of The New York Mirror, in the Cary Building, 105 Chambers Street, at Church Street in Tribeca, and reconciles with Nate in the (since closed) Mayrose Cafe, which was reborn as restaurant Brio, now also closed, at 920 Broadway, on the southeast corner of East 21st Street in the Flatiron District.