Sunday, April 25, 2021

Why Do I Love Promising Young Woman?


When I went to see Promising Young Woman in theaters on New Year's Eve 2020, I had my expectations firmly in place: Like many others, I thought I was paying money to go see Carey Mulligan butcher the hell out of a lot of men and craft a new entry in the rape-revenge subgenre while doing so. I also had been delivered the fresh news that the ending was allegedly controversial. Something that led me to make two specific predictions for the film's finale: Either it would be revealed that there was no rape to speak of, and this was going to be revenge based on lies, or that I was going to be witnessing Mulligan giving her on-screen love interest Bo Burnham an on-camera castration. Those seemed on pare for a potentially controversial conclusion since you just know a certain crowd would use a false rape allegation or a potential Burnham dick clipping as ammo to claim the film was an attack on "all men" (RE: straight white cismen). Something in the vein of the overblown reaction to Sophia Takal's 2019 remake of Black Christmas. I thought I knew what I was getting into when I viewed it.

Instead, it ended up being nothing like what I expected: It ended up being something far more special, something that has stuck inside my mind for the last four months, and that has become one of my new favorite films.

And it all started with a look into a camera.