Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman ★½

a rape/revenge movie for those whose only experience with rape is as an abstract concept, a Bad Word that you read about in thinkpieces, shock journalism, and tweets. there's no attempt to reckon with the ugliness and messiness of trauma or guilt (survivor's or perpetrator's), just a smug fantasy that pulls every punch. every step of the way there's a chance for this film to go somewhere interesting and you can see screenwriting-class bullshit and a need for respectability pull it back to the most repulsive place possible. i would've added that none of the men in this movie seem real (they're all hack Teen Vogue/Reductress ideas of "nice guys") but in truth no one here has any connection to the real world; everyone exists in this film to either chug the plot along (you can practically hear the screenwriting professor asking "but what do they want in this scene? what purpose does this scene serve?") or make the audience nod along to its non-insights about rape culture. and while i'm not opposed to the grimmer ending in theory, playing it as a triumph is one of the most evil things i've seen recently. can't believe that not only did they make Teen Vogue Audition but it's up for Best Picture.

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