Already premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and distributed by Amazon Studios, “Late Night” should definitely be on your must-watch list. It brings together female comedians from two different generations, namely Emma Thompson and our very own Mindy Kaling. This is a movie about late night talk shows, the hosts of which are often under pressure to be funny and appealing to a wide variety of audiences.
Can you imagine how much stress that puts on their writing staff? This movie, uses its two amazing lead talents to explore that very issue, while also probing questions of feminism and diversity.
Emma Thompson plays the role of Katherine Newbury, a legendary late night talk show host along the lines of David Letterman. The story really revs up when Katherine fires an employee since he has just become a new father, all the while hiding behind feminism.
However, this leads her to come under fire as a woman who hates other women. So begins her hunt for diversity; enter Mindy Kaling as Molly Patel, who works at a chemical plant. Already a fan of Katherine, she is happy to be hired for the talk show. However, this happiness is short-lived since the all-male writers’ group shoot her down as a ‘diversity hire’ who doesn’t know anything about writing.
The stakes are raised when Katherine demands her writing team make her cool again in the face of a younger, more popular male talk show host arriving on the scene. Molly takes this chance to prove herself on the job both to her male colleagues and also to her idol.
The movie is hilarious and well-written, injecting humor even into serious scenes. Molly’s journey from being the token female in the office to finding her wings – offering new suggestions that liven up the talk show – is also very well portrayed and Mindy Kaling shines.
The diversity in talent lies both on screen and behind the scenes, as well. It was directed by another South Asian talent, Nisha Ganatra and the screenplay was by the multi-talented Mindy Kaling.
It’s heartening to see how we are progressing in term of diversity and representation for women both on and off the screen. The movie is a win-win in terms of actual diversity as well as in laughs per minute.
So don’t miss out on this one folks! The film opens only in NY/LA theaters this Friday June 7, with a nationwide release on June 14.
Neha is a writer, editor and cultural manager based in New Delhi. She has worked extensively as an editor, most notably, during a long association with Writer’s Side, one of India’s leading literary agencies. She has extensive experience as a writer and ghostwriter.