Late Night – Mindy and Emma are great but…
Production Budget: $4 million
Domestic Total Gross: $15,499,454
Foreign Total Gross: $6,256,193
Total Box Office Gross: $21,755,647
Starring: Emma Thompson & Mindy Kaling
Directed by: Nisha Ganatra
Written by: Mindy Kaling
Distributor: Amazon Studios
Release Date: June 7, 2019
Genre: Comedy / Drama
Runtime: 1 hrs. 59 min.
MPAA Rating: R
Today was nice. Woke up around 9:30am on a Sunday, got coffee, laid in bed and watched a movie with Kaylie as kids rotating in and out of our bed for weekend morning cuddles. Kaylie put on a movie from Mindy Kaling that she wrote and stars in called Late Night, about a late night talk show host Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) at the end of her career.
I’ll start by saying I did enjoy this movie. Why am I starting that way? Cause I’m about to say a few things that might make you think I hated this movie. I will start with a new nice notes. Emma Thompson was amazing, as always. She never fails. Mindy Kaling is clever and funny, as she typically is.
However it’s a very familial story that leans hard into some predictable segments. Long term female head of a thing is coming to their supposed end and a fresh face outsider comes in with no previous knowledge comes in and saves the day. The whole movie all I could think of was The Devil Wears Prada. Not the worst movie to have come to mind when you watch another movie, cause that movie is fantastic, but still not good to instantly find comparisons.
What’s it about?
Essentially this movie leans heavy into the sexist trope nature of entertainment that we have all seen exposed over the past few years. We have Molly (Kaling) who is seen as a diversity higher, which she literally is. She won a contest to meet a CEO (or something like that) and worked her way into the writers room of her favorite late night show and happened to be in the room when Katherine (Thompson) calls in and literally says “Just hire a woman already!”
Katherine (Thompson) is an out of touch with her staff boss that literally doesn’t know the names of her writing staff. She’s abrasively mean to everyone and holds herself and everyone around her to impossible high standards. Her husband (John Lithgow) also has Parkinson’s and is the love of her life, who she is nice to.
Once you are about 15 minutes or so into the movie you can already tell how it’s going to play out. Molly (Kaling) will come in not knowing anything but will be a “fresh face” for the team that will change everything. The shows is on the verge of being taken over by the exact opposite of Katherine (Thompson), Daniel Tanner (Ike Barinholtz) who is a comedian ala Dane Cook.
Fast forward and we find out that Katherine (Thompson) has had an affair with one of her writers, Charlie (Hugh Dancy), right after her husband Walter (John Lithgow) was diagnosed. You know, the ultimate betrayal. Walter (John Lithgow) finds out because Daniel’s (Ike Barinholtz) agent leaked the information to the press.
I am not going to condone cheating at all, cause I think it’s one of the worst things ever to do to someone else. If you are unhappy just leave. However, telling someone 10 years later when they are dying of a diseases and miserable, and it’s never happened since. That’s a dick move. And also between the two parties.
Anyway, they work through it with the power of love. Molly (Kaling) tells Katherine (Thompson) to be honest, she doesn’t want to, but then she does it and magically she saves her show. Yay! Oh, and there’s a bit about a cancer benefit show thing or something. I mean it’s kinda important as it’s the turning point for Katherine (Thompson) to be honest about herself and her indiscretions.
Ultimately I did enjoy this movie, but as I always feel the environment in which you watch a movie can influence how you feel about it. I saw this in the ideal environment to enjoy it, laying in bed with my wife and cuddling with my kids.