The new movie “Late Night”, is the first I have seen since “The Devil Wears Prada” released in 2006 that shows the working reality of so many millions of Americans. The Devil in this movie is the star of late night talk show, Katherine Newbury, played very well by Emma Thompson. Katherine is so rude and abrupt with all the writers in her staff, she doesn’t care to remember any of their names and at one point starts calling them numbers, “you are 1, 2, 3, etc”. This level of condescending and outrageous treatment of other people is all too common in the working world, and this film, written by Mindy Kaling does a very good job of showing this reality.
Not only is Katherine Newbury rude to everybody who works for her, she only hires men for her staff, because she hates women. This is where Molly Patel, played by Mindy Kaling comes in, as the token woman hired to fix this men only problem. Molly is hired into the writing staff even though she has no experience as a writer and works at a Chemical Plant in Pennsylvania. In real life, something like this would almost never happen, but this situation was believable enough for this story. It turns out that Katherine is losing her show after many years because of low ratings and there are many scenes of stressful talk show reinvention debates with Molly and Katherine that I thought were very well done.
There was the expected screenplay paradigm in this story as a major conflict comes in the middle, followed by resolution at the end, and I thought the ending was a strong resolution to a very good story.
This is Mindy Kaling’s first screenplay but it comes off as a story written by a more seasoned screenwriter. The best line in this movie was “people who hate themselves do whatever they can to make other people feel the same as they do”. A great line, and very true of real life and the cut throat world of working for other people.
The Rotten Tomatoes for Late Night are a very solid 81% and I agree with this rating and highly recommend this movie.