Movie Review by Cindy Summers
3 palm trees out of 4
Late Night is a comedy about a late night host who’s on the verge of loosing her show due to it’s dated and pretentious material that is rescued by a clever young female comic with basically no formal experience who happened to stumble into a new future as a comedy writer on the show. Released by Amazon Studios, Directed by Nisha Ganatra, and Written and Produced by Mindy Kaling, who also stars in the lead role of Molly Patel opposite Emma Thompson as Katherine Newbury.
Katherine Newbury is a late night host that has won dozens of Emmy’s throughout her career, and finds herself put on notice due to a decade of declining ratings when a new studio executive joins the company. She is rude and completely horrible to her writing staff, which are all men, and a complete tyrant around the office and the set as well.
Molly joins the team much to the dislike and disappointment of the male writers club, and finds herself also challenged at dealing with the brash and often times completely inappropriate actions of her new boss Katherine.
Katherine and Molly form an unexpected bond, as it’s believed that Katherine doesn’t like women working for her, and Molly gets the opportunity to shine, though is challenged with Katherine harsh and reactionary demeanor.
Emma Thompson is perfectly cast in the role of Katherine, who is a pretentious British woman with too much money and no boundaries as far as the appropriate way to treat people. She does so blatantly and unapologetically, even refusing to learn the names of her writing staff, alternately decide to just assign them numbers and refer to them only that way during staff meetings.
Molly is sweet, conscientious, and initially completely overwhelmed by Katherine’s persona, though finds clever ways to navigate Katherine’s bad nature and help her to reveal a more true and successful self, that ultimate becomes the solution to keeping the show. There is also a great chemistry in the polarity of personalities between Molly and Katherine, and the portrayed relationships have a very genuine feel.
John Lithgow is great in the supporting role as Katherine’s husband, Walter Lovell, who champions her challenges throughout the movie, and shows insightful compassion toward his wife in learning of her infidelity.
This funny movie does a great job at tackling some very sensitive issues, such as sex scandals in the press and sexism in the workplace, but does it through humor and appropriate, somewhat surprising outcomes due to the initial introductions of the characters and complex scenarios.
This is more of a feel good, not laugh out loud movie, though there are plenty of witty, perfectly timed lines to keeping you laughing and have a very enjoyable movie experience.
Rated R – 102m