Tag Archives: abortion

One teeny problem with the movie “Late Night” that actually ruined the whole film

11 Feb

Late Night_ad

Last month, my fiance and I trekked (via airplane) to Park City for skiing with my sister and brother-in-law, aunt and uncle, and two of my cousins. Two frigid and snowy days of shredding the gnar were interspersed with rowdy Settlers of Catan matches, laughing fits only sisters and girl cousins can evoke, and too much good food.

On the journey there, I watched “Late Night,” the 2019 comedy-drama featuring Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling. Thompson’s character, Katherine Newbury, is facing forced abdication from her late night TV show throne due to ever worsening reviews. Kaling’s character, Molly Patel, hired merely to prove that Katherine does not hate women, ends up rescuing Katherine from her seemingly inevitable demise with fresh, down-to-earth, and spunky content.

I want to like this movie. The redemptive nature of its overarching story is temptingly well-crafted. We first meet a proud, stodgy, emotionally stunted Newbury who is unable to take even the most constructive criticism. She is a prickly diva who has lost touch with her audience and can’t be bothered to learn her staff writers’ names. Patel, the newest and least qualified member of the team, stands in stark contrast. She loves cupcakes and bright colors, wears her emotions on her sleeve, and above all else is unbearably earnest. Newbury initially ignores Patel altogether, seeing her as a quota filler who talks too much at writers’ meetings. However, thanks to Patel’s persistence and creativity, Newbury slowly begins to change. She stops mocking the people she interviews and performs a series of skits instead poking fun at herself for being old, white, and thoroughly British. Disney parallels abound: Newbury is transformed much like Shrek or the Beast, all thanks to Patel’s corresponding role as Fiona or Belle.

But all of the movie’s redemptive qualities are utterly shattered by one single little line.  It’s actually the first joke Patel offers as content for Newbury’s late night shtick: “Three Republican senators are proposing a bill to yet again defund Planned Parenthood. As always, the men most obsessed with women’s sex lives are the ones getting laid the least. I never thought I’d say this, but thank God I’m going through menopause.” This shameless bolstering of Planned Parenthood, after the 2015 release of videos exposing the federally funded institution’s trafficking of fetal body parts, is beyond the pale. I realize to be pro-life is to be radically far right in the eyes of the media, and I am also well-aware that mainstream media did their best to label the Center for Medical Progress‘ videos as a heavily edited farce. If you’re in that camp, I challenge you to watch, or perhaps re-watch, just one of the videos. The people being interviewed are real people, who actually worked for Planned Parenthood or one of its affiliates. It’s difficult to devise a scenario in which the disturbing content they share can be explained away by heavy editing. The third episode, in particular, is heartbreaking. In it Holly O’Donnell, an ex-procurement technician for Planned Parenthood affiliate Stem Express, LLC, tells the story of cutting open the head of a fully gestated fetus to procure its brain. While Planned Parenthood is adding body parts to their gruesome collection of for-profit fetal tissue, the American public is expected to smugly roll their eyes at those annoying Republican senators who, um, think this is a problematic situation?

It’s bad enough that “Late Night” supports Planned Parenthood’s nefarious practices. But what’s even worse is making light of abortion to begin with. Undergoing an abortion is an incredibly traumatic experience. A 2011 meta-analysis released in the British Journal of Pyschiatry, which covered 22 studies performed between 1995 and 2009,  linked undergoing an abortion to an 81% increased risk of mental health problems, including  depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicide. This is the most comprehensive study to date quantitatively analyzing the association between abortion and mental health. There’s really nothing humorous or guffaw-inducing about suicide, and there’s absolutely nothing funny about abortion, period.

I know this post was hard to stomach (pun intended), so I understand if you’ve lost your appetite. That’s why today I’m offering a comforting, yet relatively low calorie, dessert beverage. Sometimes when I feel overwrought or upset, like when I’m reading or watching what Planned Parenthood has done and continues to do, I find the following nightcap quite helpful in unwinding.

SPIKED HOT CHOCOLATE

INGREDIENTS:

1 packet Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate No Sugar Added Hot Cocoa Mix

1.3 oz. Chila ‘Orchata Cinnamon Rum Cream (the cheaper, but no less flavorful, version of Rumchata!)

DIRECTIONS:

Place water in tea kettle to boil. Meanwhile, use a kitchen scale to weigh out 1.3 oz. Chila ‘Orchata into a larger (12 oz.) coffee mug. Pour the hot chocolate mix over the liqueur. When the water has boiled, pour over other ingredients and mix to combine.

CALORIES: 200