This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Laurie’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
I think Promising Young Woman is a good movie, but definitely not a feminist masterpiece. The whole girlboss attitude the film has is awful (and unfortunately, kind of the whole premise), and the end is uncomfortable and not in the way it's supposed to, I think. That last ";)" is so bad I can barely believe it's not only there but what the film ends on. Is the audience supposed to fist pump and go "hell yeah, she got em ahah girl power!" reading those texts?? After we literally saw her suffocating to death for at least a full minute? There's literally a scene at the wedding when Joe is *comically* running away when he sees the policemen, are we supposed to laugh??
Anyway, it's bad, which is why I'm so conflicted with the fact that I did like the film a lot. It's part of the girlboss thing but I did like the way it looked and the soundtrack used - I didn't like its purpose, but this kind of flashy direction is something I tend to be drawn to (yeah not very CinéphileTM of me). Carey Mulligan was great, and I loved her character a lot. Recently I've been thinking a lot about characters who cannot let go of something no matter how much it might ruin their life or others', and how this is a trait I find fascinating and in some ways relatable, so this definitely was my favorite part of the film. We really don't know much about Nina, and frankly what we know of her is kind of lame (the typical "she was perfect" spiel that always dehumanize characters more than humanize them), but I still felt Cassie's loss and desperation and drive. That's probably what I'll remember most from the film.
This part still wasn't perfect though; Cassie giving up her revenge to live happily with Ryan was way too sudden and easy. It was so jarring that I almost thought she was faking the whole thing to get information on Alexander.
Her relationship with Ryan was also pretty stupid and didn't fit well with what we know of Cassie imo (also a guy coming back to ask for a date *again* after you give him a fake number is such a red flag).
It's pretty funny cause the more I write the more I'm like "this film is terrible" but also I really did love it, I really was immersed in it and felt it. I hate when this happens but unfortunately I can't pretend I didn't like it and I also can't pretend its politics are good and that I agree with it. So I'll just be over there overthinking it until I eventually move on.