Actor Carey Mulligan, filmmaker Emerald Fennel and actor Laverne Cox (L-R) on the set of “Promising Young Woman” (Photo Credit: Merie Weismiller Wallace/Focus Features).
Vigilante Vengeance Gone Wrong
I know “Promising Young Woman” is just a Hollywood movie.
Furthermore, I know that the #MeToo movement came about decades too late because of the seriousness of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
But if anyone does like Cassandra (Carey Mulligan, “Mudbound”) in “Promising Young Woman” and takes the law into his or her own hands, just know that you have gone way too far.
In Romans 12:19, Paul wrote, “Beloved do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.”
However, “Promising Young Woman” shows that living by that Bible verse is easier said than done because Hell hath no fury like a woman scorn.
And when a woman is determined to seek vigilante vengeance, I feel for the brothers who mistake her kindness for weakness.
In “Promising Young Woman,” Cassie seemed to have it all a few short years ago.
Ever since childhood, she dreamed of becoming a successful doctor.
Her dream seemed liked a certainty when her intellect and work ethic vaulted her to the top of her medical school class.
Cassie was not one of the popular women or one of the women that men desperately sought to court in medical school.
However, she had the respect of most of the people in her class, as people knew for sure that enormous success would be in her future.
Then all of a sudden, it was not.
Out of the blue, it seemed as if Cassie just gave up on her dreams and gave up on life.
So instead of performing open-heart surgery or curing a child of cancer, Cassie takes a job as a cashier (with a major attitude problem) at a local mom and pop coffee shop.
Half of the time, Cassandra does not even actually take the customers’ orders, leaving them to walk out of the store in disgust.
She even has the unmitigated gall to spit into a customer’s coffee.
Instead of having a fabulous home in an affluent and gated community like many doctors, Cassie still lives at home with her parents.
She has no friends.
She has no boyfriend.
And it seems she has no desire to live.
Her parents have become so disgusted with her weirdness that they gift her a suitcase for her 30th birthday as if they are begging her to leave the nest.
To make matters more confusing, Cassie does not even realize it is her birthday.
Her parents have to remind her of her birthday.
Who in the world forgets their own birthday, especially their 30th birthday?
Nevertheless, Cassie does seem to have some semblance of a life because she stays out to all hours of the night.
When her parents question her about her whereabouts, she always says she had to work late even though the coffee shop does not stay open that late at night.
In “Promising Young Woman,” Cassie, on the surface, appears to enjoy drinking her sorrows away at the clubs and bars around town by herself.
The problem is when some men see a vulnerable woman; they see an opportunity to score even if their opponent does not agree to the rules of their game.
When Jerry (Adam Brody, “The O.C.” and “Shazam!”) sees a drunk as a skunk Cassie rolling and gyrating on a bar couch, he initially takes it upon himself to help her get home safely.
Cassie cannot find her phone to call a ride.
She does not know where her friends are anymore.
So, how in the world will she get home safely?
Jerry decides to give her a ride to her house before getting dropped off at his house.
However, when Jerry realizes that his house is closer than Cassie’s house, he invites her to his house to get sobered up.
Ignoring the fact that Cassie has obviously had too much to drink already, Jerry pours a couple of beverages for them before they call it a night.
Jerry pours himself a small glass.
However, he pours the intoxicated Cassie a huge glass of whatever adult beverage he has chosen for the evening.
Later, Jerry takes it upon himself to help Cassie to bed.
Then, Jerry tries to take it upon himself to help himself to some of Cassie’s cookies, taking off her underwear despite the fact that she does not seem aware of what is going on.
Even earlier when Jerry kisses Cassie, it should be obvious to him that she is not kissing him back.
Nevertheless, Jerry continues with his attempted sexual assault until Cassie comes to her senses, all of a sudden, and vigorously fights back.
The fight between Jerry and Cassie becomes so brutal that Cassie walks away covered in blood, as men continue to cat call her as she walks back home.
Cassie almost became a rape victim.
But instead she fights back, getting street justice even if a true courtroom sometimes does not give her and other women real justice when they become victims of sexual assault.
“Promising Young Woman” has its quirky and funny moments like the final scene of the movie.
But “Promising Young Woman” comes off as too over the top.
When sexual assault or sexual harassment is the subject of the movie, more than likely the woman will become the sympathetic figure in the film.
But in “Promising Young Woman,” it becomes very easy to root against Cassie and root for the men, even though these men have predatory tendencies.
So while “Promising Young Woman” has potential to make a much-needed point during the #MeToo movement, its efforts at vigilante justice leads to unfulfilled promise.
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