Friday Film Review - "Late Night"

Jun 14, 2019

“Late Night” sold for record breaking big bucks after its premiere at Sundance 2019.

Although I wouldn't place “Late Night” in the “Chick-flic” genre this film hits the trifecta with talented women. Director Nisha Ganantra teams up with Mindy Kaling who wrote the screenplay and co-stars with Emma Thompson.

When you want to star in a perfect role what better way than to write yourself into your own screenplay. Kaling, who rose to fame with her role on TV’s The Office and The Mindy Project designed her made-to-order role of Molly Patel. Molly is an efficiency expert at a chemical plant who rather naively, applies as a writer for a popular but waning late night talk show hosted by Katherine Newberry, played by Tompson.

Newberry, is a domineering boss who has been extremely negligent of appreciating her staff and staying abreast of the day's changing issues...including the importance and effectiveness of a diversified team. Her career has peaked and she's already on the cusp of losing her show when she's faced with personal scandal which could prove to be her downfall. Fortunately for Newberry and the team, Molly is there to add some color to their lives….in more ways than one.

The cast isn't testosterone-free. John Lithgow is Newberry's husband and her writing team is loaded with recognizable white, male faces.

At first the film felt a little 'sit-comie' to me, like it should be set to a laugh track, but I attributed that to being Kaling's style and it disappeared as I got more engaged with the characters and story. The story is timely and lively. I was thoroughly entertained, and I hope you will be too. Ganatra and Kaling are of Indian descent and during the Q & A at Sundance both mentioned they've noted positive changes taking place in the real-world work environment regarding diversity and equality since they began in the business.

“Late Night” runs 1 hour and 42 entertaining minutes and is rated R.