Review: Late Night (2019)

Hey everybody!

It’s been a while since I last posted a full movie review. Literal months. I have posted a new recently watched movies, though!

So, Late Night.

I was pretty excited to watch this one and they had a showing at the open-air cinema in my city this summer, so I obviously had to go. I love open-air cinemas.

Late Night (2019) follows Katherine Newbury (played by Emma Thompson), the host of the popular late night talk show “Tonight with Katherine Newbury“, as her network wants to replace her as the host of the show because she refuses to follow popular, relevant trends, rejects social media, memes, viral videos and has stayed virtually the same the last ten years of her declining career.

Trying to reshape the show, and thus save her career, Katherine hires Molly Patel as a writer, the “diversity hire”, as Katherine called it. Turns out Molly Patel, being different from all the other white, male writers, is exactly what Katherine needed.

So, what did I think of the movie?

It was a good movie. Solid. I think that’s the way to describe it. The two best things about this movie, in my opinion, are obviously the humour and social commentary. I was either laughing or thinking “Damn straight!” about something Mindy Kaling or Emma Thompson’s character had said. Someone in the audience actually started clapping when Molly Patel snapped at one of her co-workers. I think for someone who isn’t a person of color or female, this might give a little insight into what we go through in our professional but also personal lives.

I read one review that I definitely agree with.

On one level, “Late Night” has no surprises. Everything happens as you would expect, and right on schedule. But on a deeper satirical level, the level where the movie really works, it’s one surprise after another. Watch how Molly’s “romance” with Charlie is handled. A more conventional movie would have prioritized it in a much different way, giving it more weight than it deserves. Charlie is beautifully in proportion. The movie is not about him. Watch how the dynamic between Molly and Tom develops. It happens almost via stealth, and so the payoff – when it comes – is much more satisfying than it might be otherwise. And mostly, the relationship between Molly and Katherine, growing in fits and starts in scene after scene with Kaling and Thompson – shows two women, struggling to find a handhold in a culture that doesn’t want them, struggling – at first separately, and then together, to stay “in the room where it happens.”

Sheila O’Malley @ rogerebert.com

Late Night might seem like a typical feel-good movie at first, but it is more than that. You have to go beyond the superficial, take a look at what they focused on.


letterboxd rating: 3.5 out of 5

All in all, I really enjoyed the movie. Would definitely recommend it.

Have you seen it? What did you think? Are you planning to see it?

One thought on “Review: Late Night (2019)

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