LATE NIGHT (15)
D: Nisha Ganatra
Amazon/FilmNation/30 West/Imperative/3 Arts (Ben Browning, Jillian Apfelbaum, Howard Klein & Mindy Kaling)
US 🇺🇸 2019
W: Mindy Kaling
DP: Matthew Clark
Ed: Eleanor Infante
Mus: Lesley Barber
Emma Thompson (Katherine Newbury), Mindy Kaling (Molly Patel), Hugh Dancy (Charlie Fain), Reid Scott (Tom Campbell), Amy Ryan (Caroline Morton), John Lithgow (Walter Lovell)
Late Night is a comedy without any actual comedy, rather a mishmash of social justice politics thrust into the script to preach to the audience.
Emma Thompson plays a belligerent talkshow host who rules over her production with an iron fist, calling her writers by number rather than name and unwilling to take on any female staff.
Her arm is twisted when it's rumoured she's to be replaced, and she appoints up-and-coming comedienne Molly Patel who her scriptwriting team, who convinces Thompson that she should bring more of her personality and opinions to the front of the show, by making jokes about controversial subjects.
The plot borrows so heavily from The Devil Wears Prada, it may as well be considered a remake, with Thompson in the Streep role and Kaling as Hathaway's naive, young upstart, all relocated to the showbiz circuit rather than the world of fashion. The performances are fine, but the screenplay is absolute dross.
The central theme of the film could have been one of workplace equality, but this is glossed over in favour of feminist politics and a message that a woman should be absolved of a guilty conscience if she were to have extramarital affairs and/or abortions.
Late Night = Absolute Trite.