“You love me.”
“No, I didn’t say that.”
“I mean not in those exact words but…”
“No, I didn’t say it in any of those words.”
Late Night is the newest movie from comedy writer Mindy Kaling, and tells the story of late-night talk show host, Katherine Newbury, who’s about to lose her show in the midst of the network trying to earn over a younger demographic. But when new show writer, Molly Patel, is hired for a more diverse writing staff, Molly soon becomes the voice of reason in a group that is stuck in their ways. Kaling has continually proved herself in the comedy genre. Late Night is another success in Kaling’s comedy genius as she proves herself in a genre dominated by men.
This is a funny movie, but not without its flaws. Kaling, who has said in previous interviews that she loves the movie The Devil Wears Prada, gives her own rendition of the well-known fashion comedy. This time it’s set on a turf that Kaling is familiar with. Emma Thompson steps into the role of the “evil” and out of touch boss, while Kaling plays the “savior” of the film. These two women could act themselves out of a bag, while still looking good doing it. Thompson, especially, wins me over every time she is on screen. Her demeanor, and mostly just the way she is able to deliver both dramatic and comedic lines, just shows off how talented this woman really is. The rest of the cast is made of Kaling’s friends from previous projects. For example, Amy Ryan from her time on The Office, or Ike Barinholtz from his time on The Mindy Project. These characters have decent sized roles throughout the film, but these minor roles do begin to grate on you towards the end. But to be honest, though the humor in Late Night doesn’t quite compare to the humor in previous films with the same storyline, Late Night is still a win.
Late Night is straight forward in relation to the evil boss and the innocent employee who end up depending on each other for different reasons. A little predictable in essence, but still a nice plot nonetheless. The film touches upon social stigmas and being able to be a woman working her way up the corporate ladder. But the story gets a little lost when trying to achieve its pinnacle comedy genius. Maybe it’s not fair to compare both Late Night and The Devil Wears Prada in such a large extent, but these films are just too similar to try to pull apart. I left the theater wanting something more. I can handle the cheesiness or predictability in a film of this genre, but the comedy just wasn’t as good as what I have seen from these talented actresses.
Late Night is a bit of a watered down version of Devil Wears Prada, but still manages to quench your thirst. Kaling wishes to establish a new comedic storytelling with a story that has been done over and over. Kaling and Thompson show off their huge talents and will continue to rock whatever future projects they star in. But Late Night, though not a primo comedy, is a cute film that will make you smile.
Directed by: Nisha Ganatra
Written by: Mindy Kaling
Starring: Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, Hugh Dancy, Reid Scott, and John Lithgow