It is well documented here on the blog that I am a massive Mindy Kaling fan. She made me laugh as Kelly Kapoor on The Office, I was obsessed with every outfit she wore on The Mindy Project, I devoured both of her books with glee (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) and Why Not Me?), and I even created a holiday gift guide for Mindy super fans.
When it was announced that she would be producing, writing and starring in a movie, I knew that know matter about it was about, I would go see it.
Late Night is the story of Molly Patel (played by Kaling), a young, Indian woman who lands a job in the writer's room at a late-night talk show after the host received extreme pressure to diversify her staff.
A huge fan of the show, Molly is undeterred by the real reason she was asked to join the team, and immediately starts sharing ideas and decorating her office. There is a hilarious scene where she takes great care to slowly and carefully hang a poster that says "Never give up."
The host of the talk show is played by Emma Thompson. Kaling wrote this role with Thompson in mind. In an interview with NPR, Thompson said she read the script and, "Forty-eight hours later rang my agent and said, 'Please tell her that I couldn't be more thrilled and that I will start tomorrow.'"
In the role of Katherine Newbury, Thompson is vile boss. She doesn't know any of the writers' names, so she assigns them each a number and refers to them by their digit. She is irritated by Molly and keeps trying to swat her away, despite Molly's earnest attempts to improve the show.
Katherine shows vulnerability when in the presence of her husband (played by John Lithgow), who is suffering from Parkinson's disease. Going in, I didn't even realize Lithgow was in the movie, and he turned out to be one of my favorite characters.
Now, it wouldn't be a Mindy Kaling production without a dash of rom-com. Molly has a false start with one of the other writers, Charlie, who turns out to be a player. She finds a true partner in Tom, played by Reid Scott, who I must admit, is devilishly handsome.
I was loving the movie until the final five minutes. In a flash forward (meant to be one year in the future) the film ends with a utopian version of the show's staff, and I was furious because it was so wildly unrealistic. I felt like those last few scenes undid the honesty of everything that came before. I was incredibly bummed.
That said, Mindy is still one of my idols. Vanity Fair recently wrote a profile on her that is very inspiring.
Tell me, did you see the movie? What did you think?