Assuming they can get through writer/director Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman without it triggering a PTSD reaction, scores of women who have a part of their brain unwillingly dedicated to the memory of their own sexual harassment or assault will relate to lead character Cassie (Carey Mulligan). So too will the friends of those who experienced that kind of trauma. Many men who consider themselves ‘nice guys’, (and let’s be honest, don’t all men think of themselves as nice guys?) will have to do some soul searching about that time they had sex with a drunk girl, or talked about that slutty drunk girl, or stood by and did nothing when their pal took that drunk girl home. That’s, I suspect, exactly as filmmaker behind Promising Young Woman wants it.
Fennell is known as an actress who plays such high profile roles as Camilla Parker Bowles in The Crown and Nurse Patsy in Call the Midwife, but she was also an Emmy nominated writer and showrunner for the second season of Killing Eve, which is just one clue that she would pen this revenge story centered on a complicated female antiheroine. Another is the body of work she has created as book author for children’s and YA lit, one of which, Monsters, features a murder-obsessed preteen and psychopath.
Very smart med school dropout Cassie leads a double life where by day she has a dead-end job at a coffee shop, and by night she goes to bars and night clubs posing as a helpless, dangerously intoxicated party girl.
For the review in its entirety, go to AWFJ.org HERE.