Yes, it’s all ‘She Said’ in this tedious, overblown 90 minute polemic from director Maria Schrader. Anything ‘he says’ is misogynistic and stupid, ipso facto, because the speaker is a man. The scene is set early on with gratuitous Trump-bashing. Then whispers about Harvey Weinstein’s predatory behaviour are heard and leapt upon voraciously by our female reporters (they are, apparently, the only ones doing a real job apart from, possibly, Anderson Cooper who is also on to it, (no surprises there)). Everyone’s aghast. The ‘casting couch’ is such an evil and new concept (but only to be expected).
Weinstein is a grub and not the only one in Hollywood, true. But the utter glee and self-aggrandisement with which Meghan Twomey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) (the real life New York Times journalists behind the original exposé) pontificate and air-punch when they get hold of a minor celebrity who will talk (sorry Ashley, sorry Rose) is simply wearisome. There’s some mysterious thing going on with Saint Gwyneth Paltrow whom the writers want to name as a complainant but just can’t quite.
The music, the physical trembling with emotion, the portentous voices and the meaningful looks are risible. We see our heroines juggling massive workloads and new babies. Post natal depression gets a moment, as do nasty men in bars. Male lawyers are dumb and must be countered with smug eye-rolling. A male editor is ok, as long as he is black and restricts his input to, “You go get ’em!” and “we’ve got a deadline!” Patricia Clarkson looking fabulous (is that ok?) trails about, supporting our reporters in a soft voice. If she’s embarrassed, Carey Mulligan should be hiding under the bed in shame. Miss this dross and watch her in Never Let Me Go and a truly powerful feminist story which leaves this weak entry for dead, “Promising Young Woman“.
She Said tries to be All The President’s Men but it is so, so not. She said. Me Too.