Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson's LATE NIGHT Is a Humorous and Heartfelt Film - Sundance Review

Late Night is a humorous and heartfelt movie written by and starring Mindy Kaling. Emma Thompson co-stars as the aging host of a late night show that has slowly lost relevancy over the last decade. In a desperate attempt to redeem herself, she pulls a diversity-hiring stunt and brings Molly (Kaling) onto her staff of writers. Despite the lack of experience and the judgement of her male coworkers, Molly is determined to succeed and make friends at her new job.

The jokes are spot on, even when the plot falters here and there a little. There are quite a few tone shifts throughout the story, almost as if they were trying to pack in too many meaningful messages into one film. That said, I did quite enjoy this film and how it very well could have become the feel-good, eyeroll-inducing romantic comedy, but narrowly avoided that cliche.

What I liked best about this film is how all the characters are multidimensional—flawed but redeemable. During the post-film Q&A, Kaling even joked about casting Paul Walter Hauser, who played a member of the KKK in BlacKkKlansman, as a misogynistic writer for the show who ends up befriending Molly.

The acting in this movie is reason enough to watch this film, and there were quite a few laugh-out-loud jokes. Emma Thompson gives a powerful performance as always, and I love that this part was written for her. I’m excited to see what the future holds for Mindy Kaling’s career and what she’ll write in the future.

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