Prime Video’s Upgraded Reimagines The Devil Wears Prada With a Latina Lead

The first time I watched The devil wears Prada, I chronicled Andy's struggles as a twenty-something who aspired to be a writer but found herself in a job where she was essentially bullied for her lack of style staff. It was a film that spoke about fashion as an art and denounced the wrong standards of femininity; there was something to say. Anyone who has ever struggled in their 20s to build a path for themselves – whether you failed or succeeded – can definitely relate to this. And it was my love for this classic that made me curious about the Amazon. Prime Video Movie Upgrade.

The film, directed by Carlson Young, tells the story of twenty-something Ana Santos, played by the brilliant Camila Mendes, a broke intern at an auction gallery living in New York with her sister Vivian (Aimee Carrero) and her brother-in-law and trying to figure out how to open it. own gallery and pay off student debt. Ana, like Andy, feels like she doesn't have much time left to make her dreams come true and is juggling a lot of things at once. Meanwhile, his boss Claire Dupont (Marisa Tomei), also reminiscent of Meryl Streep's Miranda Priestly, is an intimidating, demanding, perfectionist who insists that everyone show up to work in a perfectly impeccable outfit.

“Ana had the potential to become a very endearing character, particularly if the storyline had tapped into Mendes' Latin heritage and the struggles a Latina working woman in New York might encounter.”

Nicole Froio

When Ana suggests a correction to a critical item in an auction catalog during a high-pressure event at work, Claire notices. Much to the dismay of Claire's assistants, Ana is invited on a work trip to London as her boss's third assistant. At the airport, en route to London, Ana is upgraded to first class, where she meets the handsome and charming aristocrat Will (Archie Renaux), which assumes that Ana is the director of the auction gallery she works for. Just for fun, Ana doesn't correct Will's assumption, imagining that she will never speak to him again after the robbery.

Instead, Ana begins building a web of lies to keep seeing Will and avoid telling the truth: that she's just a broke intern with no power or influence. It's hard to understand given the lack of chemistry between the couple we're supposed to root for. Maybe Ana wanted to feel like she was on the same level of power as Will, who is an extremely wealthy man, so she kept lying to compete with him. Maybe she wants his approval because she feels like a nobody. Perhaps her attention made her forget that she is a twenty-something intern with no prospects. But this is all speculation; I'm just trying to fill in the gaps in a storyline that had no heart. In truth, the protagonists really don't seem to like each other, other than being cast as a couple and reading lines from a script that, for me, didn't land at all. There was no building tension, no unstoppable attraction between two bodies, and no romance that the audience wanted to root for, just two conventionally hot actors formed as a couple.

More than the romance (or lack thereof), as an art student with two graduate degrees and no paying job living with her sister, Ana had the potential to be a very relatable character, particularly if the storyline had relied on Mendes' Latin heritage. and the difficulties a Latina worker in New York might face. Issues surrounding work and paying off debt are rich grounds for narrative exploration when it comes to stories about young Latina women — many of us could probably relate.

But the most painful part of Upgrade – as usual with direct-to-streaming films – is that he has absolutely nothing to say about anything. The film's themes – working women, the elitism of the art world, a boss who is a perfectionist micromanager, the divide between Ana and the British aristocracy – aren't really explored or exposed. Or The devil wears Prada Miranda Priestly's perfectionism is revealed as a facade for a woman who was not perfect at all, who had deep flaws that Andy exposed, Claire Dupont's character fails on several fronts, starting with her choppy wig and his strange, fetishistic French accent and ending with his character's lack of relevance to the story.

“It often feels like it doesn’t matter whether these films are good or bad: as long as people watch them on streaming, that’s enough.”

Nicole Froio

During the writing of this column, heartless direct-to-streaming movies have become commonplace. I don't pretend to have any insight into how the production processes happen within studios and streaming services, but it's as if studio executives are investing in the most boring, generic content, without a lot of attention to quality or engagement, just to stream pieces. As quickly as possible. It's clear that the companies making these films want them to be as iconic as the classics we already know and love, but they consistently fail. After the writers' strike, where streaming services were exposed for undermining labor rights, job security, and residual payments, I can't help but wonder if these movies and TV shows boring straight-to-streaming movies have something to do with the current model of a business where writers, actors and directors are burned out by a fast-paced, poorly paid system. It often feels like it doesn't matter whether these movies are good or bad – as long as people stream them, that's enough.

“I want Latina-centered stories to say something, to be engaging, to be good.”

Nicole Froio

I don't like writing bad reviews, especially when a talented Latina actress like Mendes is involved, an actress whose identity as a Brazilian American could have added so much to the story, and an actress who has the talent and passion for playing characters. who stand for something and deliver a message. I want Latina-centered stories to say something, to be engaging, to be good. Upgrade I felt outdated, generic and uncreative, and as a Brazilian-Colombian critic, that hurts.

Regional diversity: C

There is virtually no mention of Ana's Latina identity. The only reason I give him a C is because I know Mendes tried to make his character Brazilian-American by changing his last name to Santos, with an “s” instead of a “z” at the end, and we rarely get to see Brazilian Americans play Brazilian Americans in film and television. Plus, it was nice to see a Latina as the main character in the romantic trope of America going to Europe.

Language: N/A

There was no code switching or language switching, which I think is okay, but it would have been nice to hear the character speak Portuguese.

Race: F

There is no racial diversity among Latino characters. In fact, Ana's ethnic identity is only mentioned in passing, and never again. In fact, we don't know what her cultural origin is, only that Mendes tried to make her Brazilian-American. This doesn't factor into his story at all. This seems like a lazy attempt at inclusion.

Stereotypes and tropes 😀

Although it didn't rely on any Latino stereotypes, this movie was actually full of other stereotypes – the evil perfectionist boss, the broke art major, the awkward female romantic comedy character – but it didn't have any. spilled none.

Was it really good? D

Unfortunately, I didn't really enjoy the film. The script wasn't good, so the actors did what they could, and there wasn't much chemistry between the leads.

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