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Emma Thompson stars as Katherine Newbury, an aging, British, female, late-night talk show host threatened with being replaced by a younger male.
Katherine can be quite caustic and downright mean to her stable of all-male comedy writers. She decides to hire a female writer and, on a whim, chooses Molly (Mindy Kaling, who actually wrote the script), a quality control worker in a chemical plant. ("It's not a factory, it's a chemical plant.”) Molly knows nothing about the cutthroat television industry but has lots of street smarts and intuition and soon becomes much more that the stereotypical "diversity hire.”
Although Katherine won't admit it, she begins to listen to Molly while remaining aloof to her and her staff of writers, whom she refers to by numbers rather than learning their names.
The movie has lots to say about diversity, age and sexism in the workplace without becoming too preachy.
John Lithgow has a small role as Katherine's faithful husband, who is dying of cancer. When an indiscretion by Katherine becomes public, her future appears doomed, right down to her last show. But this is Hollywood, and our heroine, even though flawed, must come out smelling like a rose.
Late Night may be a bit lightweight, but it is fun to watch, especially for Thompson's performance. Rated R because of profanity and some mild sexual references.