Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) is a pioneer and legendary host on the late-night talk-show circuit. When she’s accused of being a “woman who hates women,” she puts affirmative action on the to-do list, and—presto!—Molly (Mindy Kaling) is hired as the one woman in Katherine’s all-male writers’ room. But Molly might be too little too late, as the formidable Katherine also faces the reality of low ratings and a network that wants to replace her. Molly, wanting to prove she’s not simply a diversity hire who’s disrupting the comfort of the brotherhood, is determined to help Katherine by revitalizing her show and career—and possibly effect even bigger change at the same time.
Inspired by Kaling's real experiences as the only female writer on The Office, LATE NIGHT is directed by another glass-ceiling shatterer, Nisha Ganatra (Transparent, Brooklyn - 99), and Emma Thompson's role was written especially for her. Acerbic, hilarious and full of the type of grrl power we can't get enough of lately, Kaling and Ganatra's film is a worthy vessel for tackling present issues of both gender and racial representation in the media sphere.
Thompson brings pathos and amusingly severe charm to the pantsuit-clad Katherine. Smartly written by Kaling and snappily directed by Nisha Ganatra, LATE NIGHT takes on white privilege, entitlement, and a culture veering toward crassness and conservatism. Questioning how women in power are “supposed” to act, it delivers a winsome, sophisticated comedy about the times in which we live.