Celebrity status, it’s something we idolize yet at the same time dread given the lack of privacy that comes with it. Like anything it is about balance and looking for ways to stand up for what you believe in and yet not become the political enemy. In this modern world, that is hard to do, so why not make a comedy about it and try to bring it all to life in a new drama. Welcome to Robbie’s Movie Reviews, and tonight we cover a movie with a diverse cast and some hopes for some type of buddy comedy with some potential to be different. Tonight I cover:
Movie: Late Night (2019)
Mindy Kaling (screenplay by)
- Smartly Written
- Decent Pacing
- Witty and Funny At Many Times
- Balanced At Many Points
- Surprisingly Deep At Times
- Some Upended Story Lines
- Key Opportune Moments for Character Development Dropped
- The Political Components
Comedies sometimes struggle to find a balance for me, trying too hard to be funny and sacrificing the plot for the sake of meme worthy laughs. Fortunately, Kaling’s writing has more intelligence embedded in, finding a way to poke fun at our modern world and yet make it relevant too. It manages to find it’s pace well, and allows timing and delivery to outdo the quantity of normal jokes. Late Night’s wit might be a little dryer, but then finds a way to liven it back up, pulling me back into so much needed labs. It’s got a lot of balance into the mix as well, finding that fine line between cursing, sexual humor, and political pokes without making me want to bash my head in from over use. And while it may be hard to believe, Late Night still manages to get through to the compassionate side of things finding some deep moments and face the issues that plague the world. It helps make more endearing characters to play out this political comedy, which is kind of important for a movie like this. The cornerstone though, is the acting. So much of the extras in this film do their job well, secondary characters are important to the story and do well to support the main cast. It’s the dynamic duo of Thompson and Kaling that really was the entertainment value for me. Thompson plays her part so well, managing to inject her classiness into the role and yet hold so many more levels to dive into and discover. Kaling’s normally over the top and aggressive political nature are better controlled, left to bring a semi-relatable character whose underdog tale of determination is inspiring to watch. Their odd couple like relationships, when spread amidst the other cast members, makes for two very dynamic characters, who get to semi-evolve through the story and become an enjoyment to watch.
And yet, the movie suffers at a few turns for me that take away from the writing that Kaling’s work brought out. First come the cliché’ moments, a story with incredibly predictable plot dynamics that only fall short of a Hallmark special. I would have liked a little more surprises in store, in particular with some of the outcomes of the plot development impasses that came to play. Some of the side plots to the film tried to do this, but time constraints or maybe budget led to limitations that left some of these endings a little unrealistic and unfulfilling. These moments could have increased the potential of the characters, allowing for some better character development than what we were getting at times. Late Night still has those heartened times that are awesome to see, but other times felt dropped on the cutting floor and left to be seen later as if the growth of the character happened off screen. And much like Kaling’s writing, the political moments manage to sometimes cross the line and drop into becoming price moments of empowerment that have become a staple in so many forms of media. If that’s your stick, you’ll love these moments, but if you are like me… well to see the balance and wit dropped for the sake of a political monologue filled with overdramatic cheese factor is disappointing.
Overall, I turned out to like the movie better than I anticipated, pleased to see story, characters and comedy integrated together in a workable formula. The chemistry between the actors worked very ell for me, happy to see Kaling having a fantastic relationship with the legendary English actress that could work well in future projects. Still, the movie falls victim to the modern trend of having to be directly political for the sake of being political. It’s those moments where these factors get in the way of story and wit that don’t quite wrap it up for me. So overall, it’s worth watching, but perhaps better left to watching on Netflix streaming vs. a theater worthy venture.
Movie Overall: 6.5