Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman ★★★½

When you use a song in the climactic dénouement of your film that has previously been used for the opening of Deadpool, you have to expect the audience to picture the Merc with the Mouth showing up to tell Bo Burnham to go fuck himself. Sorry... I don't make the rules.

I don't want to review this film properly so I'm just going to list everything wrong with it:

1. I was under the impression she was killing her victims - I guess she doesn't. Her plan is really dumb.

2. They never took the character far enough. You have a lot of license when you write a character like this because the audience is always going to be on her side. Yet, they did nothing outrageous with that. Joker (a bad film) did this perfectly, where they managed not to lose the audience while Arthur Fleck shot De Niro live on air. All Cassie does is threaten to do things and never actually do them.

3. There is a major problem that this is a film about a woman getting revenge for a rape, yet it only shows violence against women and never against men. Come on... hurt those bastards, don't just add to the sexist depiction of violence against women in Hollywood.

4. While the casting of typical nice guys as the misogynist dickheads is a brilliant statement, you're still going to struggle to reprogramme the bit of my brain that forces me to like Christopher Mintz-Plasse. It’s the Steve Carrell-Battle of the Sexes dilemma. 

5. I applaud the sentiment of such an unsatisfying ending to mirror the lack of satisfaction that Cassie gets from her revenge, but since the time of Sophocles and Aeschylus we've been telling stories to get catharsis (lit. purging) - and, sadly, this ending means (I Can't Get No) Catharsis.

6. Not a problem I had, but one that certainly stood out to me as a potential one, is the anonymity of the victim. I get that it's done both to be an Eva Smith-Inspector Calls sort of Everywoman and because it mirrors the way the characters have forgotten Nina - but shouldn't we be shining a light on the victims of sexual abuse, not depriving them of identity?

7. This concept has been explored before and perhaps in better ways (think David Slade's terribly underappreciated Hard Candy) and I definitely did not expect the sudden turn it took when it literally became 13 Reasons Why.

But in saying all that... I fucking loved it. Inject this shit into my veins. I want to see this so many more times and I want to see so many films like it. It looks so good; the pop art aesthetic works so amazingly well; cannot praise the direction enough; Carey Mulligan; Bo Burnham is surprisingly great; it's disarmingly charming; Carey Mulligan; the use of music is unbelievably brilliantly; it's really funny; I cared; Carey Mulligan; so much more. Definitely could go even further up in my esteem on rewatch.

I keep changing my mind every 5 minutes, but at the moment, I think this should win Best Picture out of the nominees. It's the rape romcom we needed, but definitely not the one we prats deserved.