*Trigger Warning: sexual assault, suicide*
Promising Young Woman has been nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, and IMO, the movie deserves more. The black comedy thriller stars Carey Mulligan as Cassie, a young woman who's living a double life: she works at a coffee shop by day and goes to clubs and pretends to be drunk at night. When "nice guys" attempt to take advantage of her, Cassie suddenly reveals she's sober.
*Spoilers Ahead* The film reveals that years ago, when Cassie was in med school, her friend Nina was raped and it is implied that she eventually died through suicide. Cassie forms a plan to get revenge on all the people involved, including their former best friend, old classmates, a lawyer, and their school's dean.
The movie shows the darkest sides of people, and how their worst qualities surface when they're trapped. Aside from introducing us to the characters pretending to be "nice guys," the movie is truly unapologetic in calling out catcallers, enablers, and victim-blamers, who—sadly—still exist today.
Here's a list of striking quotes from Promising Young Woman:
- "Hey. I said, what are you doing?"—Cassie
- "Oh, my God. You are so, so pretty. But why are you wearing all that makeup? Do you mind me asking? I never understood why women wear so much makeup. It's like you guys are so much more beautiful without it. It's like guys don't even like that kind of stuff, you know? It's just this soul-sucking system meant to oppress women, and it's f*cked up...I want to see you. The real you. With all your freckles and your imperfections."—Neil
- "A connection? Okay. What do I do for a living? Sorry. Maybe that one's too hard. How old am I? How long have I lived in the city? What are my hobbies? What's my name?"—Cassie
- "Every week, I go to a club, and every week, I act like I am too drunk and stand. And every f***ing week, a nice guy comes over to see if I'm okay."—Cassie
- "What kind of person forgets their 30th birthday?"—Cassie's mom
- "Look, you're making the assumption that I want any of it. If I wanted a boyfriend, and a yoga class, and a house, and kids, and a job my mom could brag about, I'd have done it. It would take me 10 minutes. I don't want it."—Cassie
- "I know all guys say they want wives that work, but it's not true...I mean, they all want a feminist in college, because it's cool to have a girlfriend who cares about something. And, statistically, feminists are more likely to do a**l. That's a literal fact, by the way...You know, when it comes down to it, all guys want the same thing...A good girl."—Madison
- "Look, when you get that drunk, things happen. Don't get blackout drunk all the time, and then expect people to be on your side when you have sex with someone you don’t want to."—Madison
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- "For your sake, I was hoping you'd feel different by now."—Cassie
- "None of us want to admit when we've made ourselves vulnerable, when we made a bad choice. And those choices, those mistakes, can be so damaging, and really regrettable... I mean, what would you have me do? Ruin a young man's life every time we get an accusation like this?"—Dean Walker
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- "Look how easy it was. I guess you just had to think about it in the right way. I guess it feels different when it's someone you love."—Cassie
- "Do you really think I would do something like that? Luckily, I don't have as much faith in boys as you do."—Cassie
- "You're hardly dropping panties yourself, Paul. When was the last time you scored in daylight?"—Cassie
- "No use hiding from the piper. He has to be paid."—The lawyer
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- "I don't know if I can live with the threat of this hanging over me. I didn't even do anything."—Ryan when Cassie shows him an implicating video from the party
"You might be surprised to hear that gentlemen are sometimes the worst."—Cassie
"You know, I was affected by it too, okay? I mean, it's every guy's worst nightmare, getting accused like that."—Al
- "Can you guess what every woman's worst nightmare is? The thing is you thought you'd gotten away with it because everyone had forgotten."—Cassie
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"She didn't give a f*** what anyone else thought, apart from me, because she was just Nina. And then she wasn't. Suddenly, she was something else. She was yours. It wasn't her name she heard when she was walking around. It was yours. Your name all around her. All over her all the time. And it just squeezed her out. So when I heard your name again, your filthy f***ing name, I wondered, when was the last time anyone had said hers? Or thought it, even? Apart from me. And it made me so sad because, Al, you should be the one with her name all over you." —Cassie while preparing surgical equipment
"You didn't think this was the end, did you? It is now. Enjoy the wedding! Love, Cassie & Nina."—Cassie's last text messages to Ryan
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