Late Night (2019) Film Review

Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) has been a top-rating late night talk show host for decades, but her ratings are slipping, her all-white, all-male writers room are too scared to push for change or to try anything different and, unbeknownst to her, the network plans to oust her. In comes Molly Patel (Mindy Kaling) who is female, not white and not part of the industry, so regularly puts her foot in it and doesn’t know the games to play the games. Can Molly be enough to save Katherine?

I loved this. I’m a massive fan of Emma Thompson and love Mindy Kahling, add in John Lithgow, Amy Ryan and Reid Scott, and I’m pretty impressed with the cast. I thought it was extremely clever the way the writing dealt with Katherine’s resistance to change in a believable fashion. I also really liked that Molly showed her emotion, she accepted help when needed and she really seemed to know her own worth. So often female characters in this fish-out-of-water situation just roll over and complain, and often are saved, whereas Molly had her own agency. And she didn’t have to be aloof and alone to have some power within her situation.

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