Devil Wears Prada – Comedic Writing

I was also able to learn a thing or two from Aline Brosh McKenna who was the screenwriter of The Devil Wears Prada.

Starting from the very beginning we get a sense of tone from the writer. The line on pg. 3 “The place is so big, so unto itself, it probably rains in here.” Gives me the impression the writer is slightly sarcastic about the world this lobby embodies. In addition, I literally laughed out loud when the other women competing for the assistant job with Andy are described as “FEMBOT.”

This opening is much different from what the movie eventually turned out to be. However, I think I prefer the movie because it streamlines the point that Andy is on her way to an interview and compares her to the other women, who are more of the fashion world.

I was anticipating more comedic descriptions of characters, but then realized that the characters themselves are not comedic. In the fashion world they are sleek and sexy, but it is from Andy’s point of view, the audience watches, and it is the behavior of these characters that is comedic to the average Joe.

One element I thought was particularly comedic were the running gags. For example, the joke that this job you would kill for. Other things I noticed were things you would not find in other screenplays, like long blocks of dialog. But then a few pages later you have short blasts of dialog between characters that is quick be very effective. I was surprised in both existing in one screenplay, let alone only being separated by a few pages. The contrast in rhythm seems to really play well in the overall pacing of the movie.

The precise and humorous writing in this screenplay, taught me a lot, and helped me apply some comedic elements to my own comedy I recently wrote.

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