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Maya Rudolph is a riot as a misguided billionaire divorcée in ‘Loot’

Maya Rudolph as Molly Novak/Wells in ‘Loot’. Picture: Supplied

Maya Rudolph as Molly Novak/Wells in ‘Loot’. Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 23, 2022

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The first time I noticed Maya Rudolph was in the 2009 movie, “Away We Go”. Of course, fans of “Saturday Night Live”, a show she joined in 2000, were au fait with her prowess as an entertainer.

I remember marvelling over how effortlessly she played her role in the comedy-drama by Sam Mendes.

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Over the years, the Emmy award-winning actress embedded herself firmly in comedy with “Bridesmaids”, the “Grown Ups” franchise, “CHiPs”, “Life of the Party” and more.

She’s an absolute riot. Beyond that, she makes it look so effortless even though it is probably one of the hardest genres to nail.

Of course, when I saw she was the protagonist in “Loot”, the new comedy series on Apple TV+, I couldn’t resist.

It’s like a cross between “First Wives Club” and “The Starter Wife” but, tonally, enshrouded in “The Bling Empire”.

The first episode opens with Molly Novak (Rudolph) turning 45. Her tech billionaire husband John (Adam Scott) is seen pandering to her every whim with a luxury yacht and an extravagant party.

While the tell-tale signs of infidelity are there – he is often away on long international business trips and always busy with something – Molly is oblivious until she finds his assistant riffling through their closet for a tie.

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I have to admit, you can’t help but get some Bill and Melinda Gate vibes when it comes to Novak’s wealth.

Back to the 6-part series, Molly goes through the expected party and anger phase, jet-setting to Berlin, Rio and Phuket.

After all, John was her husband for 20 years and now he’s traded her in for a younger trophy wife.

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Thankfully her camp aspirant actor assistant Nicholas (Joel Kim Booster) helps her through the meltdown.

Aside from being a divorcée, as the third wealthiest woman in the world with a settlement of $87 billion, Molly’s every move grabs headlines.

The cast of Loot. Picture: Supplied

Unfortunately for her, the adjustment results in a few scandalous fiascos until she is called (more like summoned) to the office for a meeting by Sofia (Michaela Jaé Rodriguez), who has the taxing task of running Wells Foundation (Molly’s charity organisation).

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The recent publicity has made Sofia's task all the more difficult and she gives Molly a rundown of the dos and don’ts.

What Sofia didn’t bank on is Molly being inspired to be more hands-on as the boss. As such, she decides to attend the opening of a women’s shelter.

But Molly does it in Molly-style. Her extravagant lifestyle has made her tone-deaf to the reality of normal people. She has good intentions but her solution is to simply throw money at the problem without truly understanding it.

At first, Sofia and Molly don’t see eye to eye. But the rest of the team at the office don’t mind Molly’s eccentricities.

Eventually, Sofia comes around while Molly learns a few lessons about loyalty, family and trust.

Molly Novak/Wells with her trusted assistant Nicholas (Joel Kim Booster) in a scene from ‘Loot’.

The script is very tongue-in-cheek and on the pulse of popular culture. Heck, even Seal makes a cameo appearance in this money-is-no-object scenario.

Despite Molly’s foot-in-mouth moments – of which there are plenty – the character is endearing and redemptive. Rudolph tackles the role with panache, channelling Molly’s very relatable frustrations while offsetting them with heartfelt positivity, confidence, a sense of humour and strength.

The supporting cast also gets ample screen time, allowing the viewer to become more invested in their journey too.

“Loot” is refreshing and fun. Yes, it does meander into being preachy at times but it is forgiveable. Overall, it’s entertaining and a good laugh.

And we all could do with a good laugh, don’t you think!

“Loot” is streaming on Apple TV+.

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