Late Night Review

This movie is a romantic comedy

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Late Night review is a romantic comedy, Triumph of the odd couple in a battle of ageism and sexism, Mindy Kaling and Stephen Colbert swap. Screen Talk, episode 246, With uncertain prospects for “Late Night” following its $13 million Sundance deal, the industry is facing big questions about the marketplace. Written, produced by and starring Mindy Kaling, “Late Night” is such an interesting premise as to make one wish it had been more ambitious about pulling back the curtain on a late-night TV show.

Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson), a late night talk show host, has her world is turned upside down when she hires Molly Patel (Mindy Kaling), her first and only female staff writer. Think of every embarrassing and awkward workplace scenario that you’ve cringed through, boil all that shame into 102 minutes, and you basically have the new comedy Late Night. Appearing on Stephen Colbert’s late night show, the former Gavin and Stacy actor attacked the President of the United States.

Kaling herself told Colbert that, while her position as The Office’s “diversity hire” was “terrifying,” everyone at her first big TV writing gig was also super-nice. As is, the movie stands out most for Emma Thompson’s performance as an imperious talk-show host, who receives an unexpected jolt after making what she freely admits is a “diversity” hire. These are some of the questions at the center of this week’s Screen Talk, as Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson talk through the strategy behind “Late Night.”

The words she puts into Thompson’s mouth, meanwhile, are a joy. Things get especially good when Katherine learns that she’s about to be fired. There’s even a bit about Katherine numbering her writers she’s too lazy to actually learn their names which seems plucked directly from a widely circulated story during “Roseanne’s” heyday.

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