The script probably could have used just one more pass to tidy up some loose threads, but overall, this is a very enjoyable, refreshingly female-led film.
Written by Mindy Kaling who also plays the co-lead, Molly Patel, a wannabe comedy writer whose only comic experience is the side jokes she made during staff announcements at a chemical plant. Nonetheless, she gets hired by top late-night show host, Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) who needs a female writer on the team – but just for show. Things work out as you’d expect, but despite the predictability, the film feels like a departure from the usual fare.
Thompson’s character, though pathologically acerbic, is not a one-dimensional villain and you can actually empathise with her – well, a bit. Thompson incidentally, has brilliant comic delivery. Kaling apparently based the script on her own experience and that comes through in some of the less conventional insights and more rounded characters.
Late Night is funny, warm and real.
Reviewed by Rita Bratovich