January 19, 2010, M. Irons: Just watched The Devil Wears Prada. Oh my! I am still decompressing from the trip through a worm hole back into the frenetic pace of the Assembly. My heart is still palpitating. Seriously, this film is definitely relevant.
But not only for the pressured lifestyle. Several other Assembly characteristics are present here, larger than life, in technicolor, and of course, in an entirely different context, which shows them for the "worldliness" they are.
The plot line is particularly relevant to the Workers in G. Geftakys' ministry. Andrea starts out with simple integrity, talent, a realistic goal in life, friends, and a good relationship. But as she gets sucked into Miranda's orbit, these all begin to get blurry and dissolve.
Fear is one of the prime reasons. Miranda threatens, "If I fire you, I'll also make sure you can't get a job anywhere else." Assembly version: "If you fail here, you will not make it into heaven, either." This really undermines integrity. How often do people in the movie justify an action with this line, "I didn't really have a choice."
The seductive perks of the job are another reason things get blurry - a great wardrobe, the feeling of power, travel. Did Assembly leaders enjoy perks? Yes, definitely the feeling of power. Some got to travel with the Lord's servant. Not to Paris, but to Africa, or to the Midwest, or at least to Starbucks. Great wardrobe, not so much.
As the tentacles of the threats and the charms of elitism sink into Andrea's soul, she demotes friends and family to second fiddle - not gladly, but volitionally, nevertheless. Her boyfriend feels it and observes, "Looks like someone's been drinking the Kool-Aid."
And of course, Andrea isn't even doing journalism, as she originally intended, but running around in a tizzy trying to please Miranda in order to get ahead. Were we really "serving the Lord", or were we trying to get a leg up on our eternal destiny?
What I expected to see in this movie was a Class A narcissist in action. Turns out, not really. Miranda is definitely narcissistic, but she's not convincing as an all-out malignant narcissist. Her covert admiration for Andy ruins the effect. GG and other narcissists I know might feign admiration, but would never actually feel it, as Miranda seems to, and would never, EVER give the accolade she gave - "You'd be a fool not to hire her."