Promising Young Woman is a film that only takes 25 minutes of its 113-minute runtime to figure out exactly what it is and what it is going to be. Then as you proceed to give the film the benefit of the doubt in hoping they will turn the ship into a direction you weren’t expecting, you end up hitting the iceberg you saw on the horizon 90 minutes earlier.
The film begins with the ideal feminist vigilante, Cassie (Carey Mulligan), a white female dropout in her mid-30s taking on the ideal feminist villain men (specifically the white ones). Cassie spends every weekend going to bars and pretending to be passed out drunk so that when some creep picks her up for sex, she can shame them into repentance. But that’s all Cassie has going for her, living at home with her parents with her only inspiration being getting back at men because her best friend was raped years ago which causing her to drop out of medical school. Her only motivation is taking on a world that refused to believe her. Cassie becomes the avatar for progressive women in the age of #MeToo.
In films written by progressives made to prop up a progressive point of view, storytelling will always be the film’s Achilles’ heel due to a fundamental failure in understanding character development. In the world of progressives, characters have to portray the stereotype based on how progressives see the world.
In the universe that feminists have created, every heterosexual man you see on screen is a predator and a misogynist. Even when the film attempts to portray a decent man, he either gets exposed as a bad guy or dies in order to enforce the message that men are bad. This makes a film like Promising Young Woman painfully predictable because you know exactly what every character is going to do based solely on the gender, status, or race of the people involved. This method of storytelling fundamentally kills of suspense the film has which is cinematic death for thrillers.
Cassie lives in a world of scummy guys. She has the names of hundreds of guys who all attempted to take advantage of her in her perceived drunken state. Every man in the film speaks in feminist talking points that women are asking to be assaulted based on how they act and dress. Other men are guilty of acting in their own interests by not believing every woman who accused someone of sexual assault.
When we given a character who is believed to be a decent guy, we know this is a red herring because humanizing men take away from the message that women are the victims. This film wants to take down the idea that there are men out there who think they are the nice guys because according to progressives, you aren’t a nice guy and you need to understand that.
Any pleb with critical thinking skills could figure out that if a man asks a 35-year-old barista who just spit into his coffee out on a date, that odds are favorable on him being a serial killer if any realm of believability is applied. This isn’t nuance, this is poor human interaction caused by poor writing that none of us who live in the real world would believe.
The film desperately wants Cassie to be viewed in the same realm that men view anti-heroes like the Punisher or Daredevil but doesn’t give audiences a reason to care because they don’t make characters in any way reliable to normal audiences.
There is a reason why you hear progressive critics of left-wing films tell dissenters “this film isn’t for you” because it’s not. This film isn’t for men to enjoy given the amount of contempt the writer has for them in general. Even women who describe themselves as happy enjoying lives with their boyfriends, husbands, and sons wouldn’t agree with much of the messaging the film presents either, this film isn’t for them.
This film is for the advanced age academics who see this film as non-fiction based on their own warped view of the world. If you are in the niche demographic for this film, you probably think this is an Oscar worthy movie, if you are like the rest of us, you likely see this film for what it is, a pass.