LATE NIGHT – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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Never mind blue genies and superpowered mutants and talking household pets. Here’s a real cinematic fantasy for ya: Imagine a world wherein a woman has been the host of a late-night talk show on a major American television network for 28 years. What a flight of fancy!

That’s the underlying premise of Late Night, and the 28-year-veteran of late-night TV is played by Emma Thompson… who is, to be fair, exactly the sort of woman who should have been enjoying such a long comedic tenure in America’s sleepytimeslot. The overlying premise is that, in an attempt to get her ratings mojo back and save her job — which the network is threatening to hand over to a truly awful younger male comic who is not worthy to lick her boots — Thompson’s Katherine Newbury hires a new writer who is the first to break the white-male wall of blandness that is her writers’ room. That new writer is Mindy Kaling’s Molly Patel, who seems like she might be a not-very-disguised version of Kaling’s real self. Continue reading…

EDITOR’S NOTE: Late Night is AWFJ’s Movie of the Week for June 21, 2019

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MaryAnn Johanson

MaryAnn Johanson is a freelance writer on film, TV, DVD, and pop culture from New York City and now based in London. She is the webmaster and sole critic at, which debuted in 1997 and is now one of the most popular, most respected, and longest-running movie-related sites on the Internet. Her film reviews also appear in a variety of alternative-weekly newspapers across the U.S. Johanson is one of only a few film critics who is a member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (the Webby organization), an invitation-only, 500-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities. She is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. She has appeared as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio, LBC-London, and on local radio programs across North America, and she served as a judge at the first Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival at the 2003 I-Con, the largest SF convention on the East Coast. She is the author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride, and is an award-winning screenwriter. Read Johanson's recent articles below. For her archive, type "MaryAnn Johanson" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).