Comedy-drama films are a great little subsection that are struggling. In between movies juggernauts such as Avengers: Endgame and small independent movies, mid-level movies that are perfect family watches seem to be struggling.
Hopefully, latest venture Late Night can change the curve.
Late Night revolves around Katherine Newbury, a legendary talk-show host and pioneer in her field, being the only woman in the profession. However, her ratings are low and the head of network is firing her. In order to turn this around, Newbury demands more women in her writing team to shake-up the status quo. In comes Molly Patel, a chemical plant expert with a penchant for writing comedy. This is much to the chagrin of the other male writers. As the tough Newbury battles down on Molly, as well as the bullying from her co-workers, can she survive this new position?
Directed by Nisha Ganatra and written by Kaling herself, the film is a smart and ultimately hilarious movie about two women at two ends of their respective professionals, learning to work with one another. There is a lot of rapid-fire lines that truly make you laugh but there is absolute heart . It’s a very droll piece that gets to the soul of the characters.
These are played perfectly by Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling. Thompson brings a brilliant charisma to Newbury whilst still balancing her cold aloofness as the talk show host learns to grow. As always, Thompson digs into the root of emotional turmoil for Newbury and fleshes her character out greatly. Kaling makes a good accompaniment, crafting her own path as the sweet but naïve Molly. Though you’d have to suspend true belief (as with all comedy films in this ilk) that her character could make a quick progression through her career, she is still an carefully written and performed character with all the charm of Kaling.
Kaling and Thompson have loads of chemistry together which makes for an extremely watchable film. It’s sweet and tender, even if the movie may lag a little bit. Late Night particularly struggles when it tries to stick it’s highest emotional moment and has a seriously underdeveloped somewhat antagonist who is thrown away after he commits the worst act.
Still, Late Night is an endearing comedy that has all the right laughs. You’ll root for all the characters including it’s sweet romantic elements that aren’t necessary but still add a layer to the proceedings.
On a final point, it is great to stress how superb the outfits are here. Whilst this does lean more towards Emma Thompson’s outfits (they are literally gag-worthy), Mindy Kaling also has great It is a phenomenal use to convey characters through their clothing.
OK, actually, one more final point – wouldn’t this make a lovely accompaniment to the highly underrated movie The Intern?
Late Night is in cinemas now!