Sub ‘Twisted’ for ‘Promising’ Young Woman

Emerald Fennell’s written and directed Promising Young Woman is worth seeing. Good twists, scant violence, bravo on both counts. Now let’s talk about assuming your audience is intelligent, a demographic of which I guess Emerald doesn’t care to appeal.
Much like Fincher’s Gone Girl, the characters are rather 2-D, there’s bad frat boys, there’s disgraced, vengeful women, women who just care about marrying for status and then there’s smarmy coffee shop employees and customers. Yawn.
There’s also the old stupid movie trope where no one goes through the proper channels for justice; police, legal teams, nor is there any ramifications for the ‘hero’s’ tawdry Robin Hood type ways.
And let’s get another item ballyhooed about among some dumber critics; this is NOT Carey Mulligan’s most demanding role: see “Drive’ or “Far From the Madding Crowd” for better quality acting and writing.
I love Jennifer Coolidge in everything she does, even here as Carey’s mom. Ditto Molly Shannon as Carey’s best friend’s mother. Since Alison Bree bugs the tar out of me, I was fine with her being the shallow gold digger. Bo Burnham was perfect as the old college alum who comes back to woo her, anyone else would have ruined the movie for sure.

Wild Nights with Emily: A Smoothie

After a disorienting first ten minutes, my confusion about the film, kind of what you’d wonder when trying to name an alien being you’ve never seen before, dissipated and I was totally in for the ride.

First, let me ruin one thing for you. If you’re expecting to witness actual wild nights with Emily, stay home. The title makes you think you’re going to “Blue is the Warmest Color”, but you’ll see more skin on Ellen’s talk show.

Yet, while the title was enticing and deceptive, I’m not disappointed in Wild Nights with Emily. While totally different in topic and tone, the recent historical reenactment/documentary “The Invisibles”, like Wild Nights, take a moment in history scrapping a one note wonder period piece, preferring a fun blend. And no surprise here, since they were both produced by Greenwich Entertainment.

Blend, blend, hey, I just chose my blog title: “Wild Nights with Emily”: a Smoothie!

Madeleine Olnek who wrote and directed this piece combines history and deadpan comedy, akin the to the popular Documentary NOW!. She uses Molly Shannon (SNL) as Emily Dickinson and Brett Gelman who I absolutely adored in HBO’s “Love”, here as the stuffy Atlantic Monthly Editor. In fact I’ve now made a list of where to stalk him; HBO’s “Camping”, “Fleabag” and an indie called Lemon. Prepare to be stalked Brett. Others with great comedic future potential are Jackie Monahan and Kevin Seal.

The cinematography (sometimes a forgotten step-child) is gorgeous in this film with Emily scenes in a beautifully tranquil sunlit white curtained writing room. Victorian era costuming as well was oh so pretty making me almost wish I could wear a petticoat for a day (ok maybe hour).

Olnek deserves credit for getting the truth out about Emily. A. That she wasn’t a recluse. B. She probably wasn’t the craziest person in her childhood home. C. Putting the exclamation point on a NYT 1998 story that technology had proved that Emily’s love letters were really written to ________ (see the movie to find out) and erased and tampered with by __________(see the movie).

“Wild Nights with Emily” is worth seeing for its novelty and noble history re-recording.