Nisha Ganatra’s ‘Late Night’ is not the most original film in any year – it’s a retread of the ‘Devil Wears Prada’ formula – but it is a lot of fun and has charm to spare, and I instantly liked it. Written by Mindy Kaling, (I never warmed up to her until now) it showcases one of our great living legends – Emma Thompson – and she doesn’t have to do much to run away with the film.
Or at the very least, Thompson makes it look easy. Even though the character is really just a variation of Miranda Priestly, Thompson makes it sizzle, and she give it more depth than how it was written. She plays Kathryn Newbury, a late night talk show host whose program has gone stale. This is probably because her writing staff is comprised of all the same people – white males all straight except for a token gay. To change this, the show hires Molly (Kaling) and well, you can probably guess what happens next. But it doesn’t matter, because Thompson and Kaling spar off each other marvelously, and the quick pacing makes you ignore holes in the plot. It’s all formula, but it works because of that. and it’s a timely message, if a bit too heavy handed, especially towards the end. Still, it’s frothy summer fun, even if it is still cold in Los Angeles.