I watched it for the 37th time just 2 nights ago. The first time I ever watched it, I thought it was too slow and boring and I couldn't hear wtf meryl was saying half the time. or maybe the real reason I didn't like it the first time was because it was a bad cinema copy.
But I watched it again anyway, because I'm so crazy like that. Again and again I watched it. And the movie grew onto me. Suddenly Anne's character felt like it has so much depth. Suddenly the movie had so much resemblance to what's going on in real life. It was as if the producers captured all the mechanics of how real life really works and summarised it all in that one movie.
Anne is this simple girl who has a dream of becoming a writer. Unfortunately no one's hiring for the moment and she finds herself hired as a PA to this crazy boss from a hugely popular fashion magazine.
She wants to do a good job and sit through it for a year (good for the ye olde resume). But that would mean submerging her whole self into work, because her boss is one hard to please pain in the ass. If that isn't bad enough, the boss is so well-known, respected and feared in the industry that if Anne fucks up - she might never had the chance to write anywhere ever again.
Seems like Anne is this really nice girl who wants to do what she thinks is the right thing. By her, and by everyone else around her. She loves her family, boyfriend and her friends who she spends a lot of time with and have known since forever. And to her, they are their priority.
Were her priority. Until she lands herself on this job. Her world takes a 180 degrees about turn and her priority now is her boss and the job. She's late for every party and meeting with her friends. She even misses her boy's birthday party because she had no choice but to work overtime. She couldn't even enjoy dinner with her family she hardly sees. Family, boy and friends - they take a backseat.
But why? Only because she wants to do a fantastic job and want to get ahead. And in her pursuit of that goal - she morphs into this completely different person. Now her friends shun her and her relationship is hanging by the thread. Just because she wanted to do a good job.
But she's still a nice girl and a bit of a people pleasing doormat. Nice girls are usually like. And are prone to being affected by what other people think of her. Especially when the other people are the people she cares about. So what does she do?
She realises that she's turning into this self-preserving, self-centred, do whatever it takes to get ahead, career obsessed bitch. She doesn't like it. She quits. The end.
At first I liked the ending - girl thinks she's turning into a bitch, quits. But the more I watched it, the less satisfying it became. There were issues which wouldn't stop nagging at me.
If she wanted to do the best she possible can at her job - what's so wrong about that? Who were her friends and family judge and shun her? Especially that wimpy boyfriend of hers, that cook with a learner's license or something like that, earning jack. Who the fuck was he to keep giving her shit and not even trying to understand her for wanting to put more effort into her job which would secure her future later on?
What about that gay guy? He's the one who finishes the boss's sentence. Who knows exactly what the boss thinks and likes or dislikes. The boss's decision is his decision. He never overwrites her, never disagrees with her. To him, she is always right about everything. He deson't have a thought of his own. He repeats everything she says in his own voice. Does he go very far? Apparently he does. He's the boss's pet. But no matter how loyal or good he was, he still got screwed in the end - because the boss used him for her own benefit. I really felt bad for this guy, because I really did like his character. But in real life, pets are usually not very likeable, are they?
What bugged me the most was Meryl's character. What she said to Anne in scene where they were both in the car - about how the only real way to climb the corporate ladder is to be as conniving, self-preserving, calculative, back-stabbing, two-faced, fake like she was. How relevant is that to the real world? When you think about it, does it mean to go anywhere in life, to be somebody, one just needs to be a self-centred, manipulative, conniving jerk who doesn't give a shit about what other people think of them? And you know what's the scary thing? It might actually be true. You KNOW people like that.
There are so many characters in this movie that seemed relevant to real life - the haughty senior colleague, the scoundrel, the pleaser, the friends, the shareholder... But this post is already long enough as it is.
Do you think this movie is a fair representation of what happens in real life?