When you have high expectations about something you’re about to experience, it usually means you’ll come out disappointed. Late Night, a film written by Mindy Kaling and where she’s joined by Emma Thompson in the lead roles, had my expectations through the roof on my bus ride to the screening organised by Birds Eye View, Reclaim the Frame and Stylist, and I was far from disappointed on my way back home!
The film directed by Nisha Ganatra tells the story of a late night talk show host (who’s over 50 and a woman), an inexperienced new writer (who’s a woman of colour), and their journey to save a failing show… And people say Game of Thrones is the biggest example of fantasy in current times!
Late Night expertly depicts the experience of women in a male heavy work environment, while at the same time showing how different generations have learnt to deal with the issues that arise from it, concluding that listening, communication and working together are the best ways forward. Is it sounding too heavy? That’s the good part! All of this is accomplished in a light hearted storyline, where unusual characters coexist and the jokes are aplenty.
The screening ended with a Q&A with Mindy Kaling who talked a bit about the parallels between her experience in the industry and that of her character in the movie. Both Late Night and Mindy Kaling’s interview ended with the message that more diverse writers’ rooms (and by the same stroke, any work environment) are important, not only from an ethical point of view, but also from a commercial point of view, as we all want to see stories (and products) that are built around a wealth of experience and better represent what we see in the world around us. A diverse and representative work environment will have way more experiences to pull from, than the same old landscape we’ve grown up in. That’s a message I’ll attach my name to without a second thought!
Late Night is at Sundance Film Festival London on 30th and 31st May and on UK cinemas on 7th June.