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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Kate Blight

Late Night (2019) on IMDb

Plot Overview

business meetingA ten year slump in the once popular Katherine Newbury Show in New York results in net­work head Caroline Morton (Amy Ryan) giving Dame Newbury (Emma Thompson) her last-season notice. In their writers' klatch, diversity hire “dark-skinned Indian girl” Molly Patel (Mindy Kaling) offers Memsahib Newbury some down-to-earth advice and timely encouragement hoping to trans­form her show back into a hit again. The times they are a-changing.


Molly had been working in a chemical plant in central Pennsylvania until she got an audience with the head executive of the parent company of the parent company of her plant. He was also the head executive of the grand­parent company of the Newbury Show's network and was able to refer her to them, landing her in the eighth seat writer's position. This uber-grand­father behind the eight-ball is, perhaps, a play on the ultimate scion of all our earthly enter­prises: old man Noah, (2Peter 2:5) “And [God] spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.” (Gen. 9:18-19) “And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth over­spread.” Noah and his three sons and all their wives add up to eight who rode the ark.

The story in Gen. 9:22-23 tells of a dishabille Noah and the different reactions of his three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. The upshot in Gen. 9:24-27 is that Noah blesses Shem, and he includes Japheth in the blessing, saying “he shall dwell in the tents of Shem.” These two brothers will be integrated, their off­spring will be. Ham who mocked his father will have his offspring—represented by Canaan—be their servants. From Shem come the Semites, and according to the British-Israelite theory the ten lost tribes of Israel who settled in Great Britain. Japheth, which name means enlarge, spread out all over the planet, including the subcontinent of India. Molly of Indian extraction was by Noah's assign­ment seated at the table of British-born Katherine, i.e. “dwell[ing] in the tents of Shem.” Ham's oldest son Cush, whose name is Hebrew for black, migrated to Africa whence come African-Americans. In “Late Night” we see Negro musicians in the orchestra that serves the show by playing on cue. The dynamic of this movie is biblical. I've reviewed other movies where I go into it in more detail.

waste basketArtistically, these roles get subtly symbolized. Molly on the crowded streets of New York, gets hit by a bag of garbage. In the conference room, though, she is temporarily seated on a trash can above the deluge of refuse as was Shem on the ark above the flood of Noah's day. Playing “white savior” Katherine recovers a side order of fast food for a White man, which she carries safe in a box through the audience. And she hails a taxi for two Negroes on the street so they'd have their ride even though they weren't going any­where. Hey, get a job! These are artistic touches relating to a safe ride in the boat.

For the sake of “excellence,” Katherine made the show her whole life to the exclusion of having children, and she preferred her employees be “monks” as well. She pretty much ignored, (Gen. 9:1) “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” When one of her long-time employees came to her asking for a raise to support a baby on the way, she showed him the door. Other than him the men were a carousing lot who weren't paid well enough to express their masculinity by becoming heads of stable families, but had promis­cuous sex lives. And Katherine favored abortion (freedom to choose) in a skit. It would not be too much of a surprise if her show goes off the deep end.

Production Values

” (2019) was directed by Nisha Ganatra. Its screenplay was written by Mindy Kaling who stars as Molly. Other stars were Emma Thompson and John Lithgow. Thompson gave a riveting performance as an aging British talk show host who felt like keeping her position. It was filmed in New York City, New York, USA.

MPAA rated it R for language throughout and some sexual references. Katherine's shtick, however, did not include comedian-typical foul language, but rather good British vocabulary. The political humor seemed to be geared to her New York audience. If American elections ever change to a nation­wide popular count rather than our current (2019) electoral college system, maybe we'll all have to learn to laugh at big city jokes.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

Overall, the movie was so-so: not bad actually, but nothing outstanding either. Then it took a nose dive when they simply made a political-statement movie too long. It's the writer's fault. Maybe she couldn't distance herself enough from it to see how it might play to a larger audience. If you were to voluntarily stop watching it at the One Year Later point, you may add another star to my rating.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Special effects: Well, at least you can't see the strings. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Video Occasion: To fall asleep to. Suspense: Predictable. Overall movie rating: Two stars out of five.