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Hi.

My name is Gary Zidek. Welcome to The Arts Section. Tune into the radio program every Sunday morning on WDCB 90.9 & 90.7 FM or listen to it online here. I'll be showcasing a variety of arts & entertainment, as well as.highlighting some creative ideas.

Film Review: LATE NIGHT

Film Review: LATE NIGHT

WDCB’s Gary Zidek reviews the new movie, LATE NIGHT.

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The competitive, sometimes cut-throat world of late night TV is the setting for the new movie, LATE NIGHT. The thoughtful comedy touches on a variety of timely themes including, workplace diversity, sexism and privilege.

Emma Thompson stars as Katherine Newbury, a pioneering comedian who has hosted her own late night talk show for 28 years.  The Newbury character is a mix of late-career David Letterman and modern day John Oliver, quick witted, aloof and a little crotchety at this point in her career.

Reid Scott and Mindy Kaling in LATE NIGHT

Reid Scott and Mindy Kaling in LATE NIGHT

When her job is threatened, Katherine decides her all-male writers room needs some freshening up. She demands a female writer by hired immediately. Enter Molly Patel, played by Mindy Kaling - who also wrote the screenplay for LATE NIGHT. Molly has zero TV or real comedy experience, but gets the position. In addition to receiving the cold shoulder from her new colleagues, Molly struggles at first to find her footing working for the late night show.

Gradually Molly begins to figure things out, she’s able to rein in her exuberance and channel her energy into writing funny jokes. As the program begins to exhibit signs of improvement, the question becomes whether Katherine and Molly have done enough to save the show.

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There are interesting threads throughout the film dealing with things like workplace romances, social media, lack of diversity, but they don’t all lead somewhere.  While much of the story feels relevant in this moment of increased social awareness, it doesn’t quite all come together.

Still, LATE NIGHT is charming and very funny.  Kaling has a talent for writing relatable humor that’s of the moment. And Thompson is fantastic as Katherine Newbury, perhaps this role will remind everyone of the actress’ tremendous talent.

Gary gives LATE NIGHT three *** out of four stars. It’s playing in theaters nationwide.

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