(2019) 102 mins
For her first feature-length screenplay, writer Mindy Kaling has also taken the lead role as Molly, a chemical plant worker desperate to break into comedy.
In a rather insanely convoluted manner, her path crosses with Katharine Newbury, played by Emma Thompson, a stalwart of the late-night talkshow scene whose program is losing ratings.
She’s a self-confessed feminist and gives time on her show to women in power but has problems dealing with other women in the workplace and relies on an all-male writers room to construct her small-screen quips.
Keen to show this isn’t the case, Katharine hires Molly as a tokenistic gesture and while Molly enters with enthusiasm, she meets resistance from the men who work alongside her.
It’s a setup ripe for sharp commentary on women coexisting in a male-dominated field, and Kaling has crafted a film that feels very much in line with recent discussions over everything from #MeToo to an increased awareness of diversity both in front of and behind the camera.
The Times: "There’s something fabulously old-fashioned at the heart of this ultra-modern workplace comedy." (4 stars)
The Guardian: "Thompson is a whirlwind in her role as the Miranda Priestly-esque boss, clearly relishing a rare opportunity to play a comic co-lead, firing off one-liners with great exuberance, and her skills as a dramatic actor are effortlessly employed in the final act." (3 stars)
The Independent: "The film has a glorious performance from Emma Thompson and a very sly one from Kaling. Thompson is at her most imperious as Katherine Newbury, a legendary entertainer, the only female in a male-dominated field, but one whose career is beginning to slide." (4 stars)