Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman ★★★★½

I remember when the now-beloved Jennifer's Body came out, the people who saw it and dug it for what it was were drowned out by a chorus of people furious it wasn't exactly what they decided it would be based on the marketing material, and how much more critical viewers seem to be when anybody besides white men play in a genre sandbox.

Now, Jennifer's Body has been hailed, with viewers now seeing the forest for the trees, seeing the movie for what it is, and are baffled that a decade ago people just didn't get it, and seemed excited to dissect the film based on the in-vogue internet points-worthy critiques of the time (Meghan Fox, Diablo Cody's dialogue, etc.)

Anyway, I've seen the discourse on Promising Young Woman. And nevertheless, I enjoyed it for what it was, and for what it was trying to be, instead of what I "wanted" it to be. And I'm stoked something this out there and so firmly planted in the genre cinema camp can get a Best Picture nomination.

I get being thrown by the unexpected ending. But it's an ending that asks the viewer to think about it, to respond to their visceral reaction with contemplation rather than knee-jerk opinion (for my money, I think Emily VanDerWerff's take on the ending makes for a much more enriching experience than just writing it off entirely).

Overall, it's a small miracle we got a film like this, and a far bigger miracle that it got nominated for Best Picture. It's a polarizing work, and it takes big swings. But at least for me, I find these kind of big swing polarizing works so much more enjoyable if you approach them from the idea that the filmmaker thought it through and the jarring elements have something to say, rather than just assuming ineptitude.