Late Night Review
What’s It About?
A veteran talk show host is struggling with ratings, so hires a woman to shake up the all male writing team in a bid to save the show and her career.
Who’s In It?
Emma Thompson (Sense And Sensibility, Love Actually, Saving Mr Banks, & more recently The Children Act)
Mindy Kaling (TheOffice, Inside Out & more recently Ocean’s Eight)
Other notables include:
John Lithgow (3rd Rock From The Sun, Footloose, The Crown, & more recently Pet Sematary)
Hugh Dancy (Martha Marcy May Marlene, Hysteria, & Hannibal)
Amy Ryan (The Office, Gone Baby Gone, Birdman, & more recently Beautiful Boy)
Director: Nisha Ganatra (Chutney Popcorn, Fast Food High, Cake, & more recently Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Set in a world presumably extremely well known to writer Mindy Kaling, whose credits include The Office and The Mindy Project, Late Night follows veteran late night talk show host Katherine Newbury and her flagging show. In a bid to try and boost her dreadful ratings, Newbury decides to shake up her all male writing team, by hiring a woman from outside – a chemical plant to be precise.
As Molly Patel tries to bring her own skill set to bear, she ends up confronting some strong resistance from her fellow writers, as well as Newbury’s intransigence when it comes to embracing new ideas.
Inevitably everyone goes on a journey throughout the film, but it is told with such warmth and sharp observation and two wonderful lead performances from a doe eyed optimist in Kaling, and a hardened cynic in Emma Thompson.
Despite a fine support cast including the likes of Jon Lithgow, Amy Ryan, Hugh Dancy, Ike Barinholtz, Reid Scott and Denis O’Hare, Late Night does suffer a little from offering too many storylines with limited time to properly explore them, and inevitably it ends up going for the predictable, easy outcomes come the final act.
In A Nutshell:
An engaging script with a fine lead performance from Emma Thompson, but it loses its way in the final act, opting to play safe.
Emma Thompson – of course
The warmth of the script
Predictable and never quite hits its stride