"Borderline Revenge Thriller"
What You Need To Know:
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN has one of the best thriller endings in recent years. Though the story is a revenge story, justice is served at the very end. Sadly, though, PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN has lots of strong, gratuitous foul language. Also, a disturbing murder occurs in one scene. Finally, the story has some light politically correct elements about the issue of sexual assault allegations. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN.
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN is a borderline revenge thriller about a 30-year-old medical student dropout who goes on a campaign of revenge against men after her friend is raped by another medical student, then commits suicide, and nobody does anything about it. PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN is well made and provocative, with a great twist ending, but it has lots of strong foul language, some politically correct elements, some sexual references, and a disturbing murder scene that dilutes its message against sexual assault.
The movie opens with the 30-year-old former medical student, Cassie, pretending to be drunk in a bar and letting herself get picked by a young man who seems concerned about her welfare. Still feigning concern, the man encourages her to lie down, but then starts to take off her clothes. Cassie suddenly wakes up from her drunken stupor to soberly confront the man. He’s so taken aback that he lets her leave.
After this scene, the movie reveals that Cassie still lives with her parents and works as a barista at a coffee place. Her parents are concerned that Cassie still hasn’t gotten over the suicide death of Nina, her childhood friend. Nina left medical school and killed herself after nobody but Cassie tried to help bring to justice the medical student who raped her. Nina was herself drunk at the time of the rape, so people didn’t take her accusations seriously.
One day at the coffee shop, a pediatric surgeon named Ryan, who went to school with them, shows up and tries to be friendly. However, Cassie is having none of it, even though Ryan is a likeable, very funny guy. Cassie learns from Ryan that the man who raped Nina is now a very successful doctor and is scheduled to get married to a beautiful model. She also learns that one of the female students at the school got married and now has twins.
Cassie meets the mother for a fancy lunch and plies her with liquor to find out if she remembers Nina. She learns that the woman had no sympathy for Nina and even laughed at her accusations, just like many of the other students. So, Cassie pays a man to pick up the woman after Cassie leaves the lunch meeting and dump her in a hotel room. She pays the man to stay there with her to make sure she’s okay until the morning, to teach the woman a lesson about the way she and her friends treated Nina and Nina’s rape allegation.
Cassie also teaches the female dean at the med school a lesson by convincing her gullible daughter that Cassie is going to be filming a music video with the daughter’s favorite band at a local diner. She then lies to the dean, telling her that her daughter’s went to a hotel room with the band. The dean hypocritically pleads with Cassie to tell her which hotel. After working the dean into a frenzy, Cassie finally tells her that her daughter is really just waiting at the local diner for the band to show up, but the band was never going to show anyway. Before leaving the dean, Cassie points out to her that people’s perspectives about the dangers of date rape change when the situation hits close to home.
These two incidents seem to satisfy Cassie’s lust for revenge against men. She starts agreeing to date Ryan on a regular basis. Ryan’s compassion for children and likeable, funny nature wins over Cassie, and it looks like he and Cassie are heading toward marriage.
However, two twists destroy their relationship, and Cassie decides to take one final stab at getting revenge for Nina against the man who raped her. A couple more twists lead to a stunning ending for all the major characters. One character’s reaction is actually pretty funny because he realizes that he’s suddenly in a heap of trouble.
A few twists in PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN are somewhat predictable, but they still provide some positive momentum to the story. The ending is actually one of the best thriller endings to come along in recent years. It’s a really satisfying ending. Though the story in PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN is a revenge story, justice is served at the very end.
Sadly, though, PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN has lots of strong, gratuitous foul language, Also, a disturbing murder occurs in one scene. Finally, the story has some light politically correct elements about the issue of sexual assault allegations and male behavior. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN.