Late Night movie review: Kaling is Cute & Thompson is Top Notch

Review by Dan Berry and Alanah C.

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Title: Late Night
MPAA Rating:  R
Director:  Nisha Ganatra
Starring: Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, Max Casella, Hugh Dancy, John Lithgow, Denis O’Hare, Reid Scott, and Amy Ryan

Runtime: 1 hr 42 mins

What It Is: A dramedy about a late-night talk show host (played by Thompson) who teams up with one of her new staff writers (Kaling, who also wrote the movie) in an attempt to save the show from being cancelled.

What Dan Thought: I enjoyed the movie a lot. I adore Kaling, and Dame Emma Thompson is terrific in her role. The supporting cast including O’Hare as Thompson’s assistant on the show, Lithgow as her husband, and Ryan as the boss of the network were just as terrific in their roles as Thompson and Kaling were. The movie has just enough drama to make you feel compassion for the characters, with comedy mixed in to keep the movie going. Their are a few laugh out loud moments in the movie, most of which were part of the show within the movie.

What Alanah Thought: More charming than it is funny, Late Night is a tight film with fully fleshed characters and a tender heart. The moments worth laughing for are the “show” bits, which accurately depict the kind of fare we expect and enjoy from existing late-night fare. This film gives you a little extra something that you won’t see from James Corden or Jimmy Fallon – a look inside the challenges and stress that come with searching for humor in a scandalous and increasingly callous world.

Late Night doesn’t pull punches – it tackles everything from racism and sexism to debilitating disease and moral redemption. Amidst all of these unfortunate realities, the movie never deviates from its tone. No hyperbolic or unrealistic antics creep their way in – the fact that this movie dares to make comedy out of a truly realistic setting is what makes it so endearing.

Photo Credit: Emily Aragones, Courtesy of Amazon Studios

Dan’s Grade:  B. Terrific ensemble cast all the way from the main roles to the supporting and bit roles.

Alanah’s Grade: B+. A fun but meaningful movie worth discussing with your friends.

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