Michael Shannon is an actor for a generation . . . or two. He's done under-the-radar work in both film (Nocturnal Animals in particular) and Broadway (Frankie and Johnnie, Long Day's Journey). His appearance in the faux feminist flop, A Little White Lie, is the only reason to prop your eyeballs open for the entire movie.
Make sure you wear your sunglasses to protect against all the searchlight intensity virtue signaling.
Kate Hudson is a creative writing professor at Archeron College. Joining her on the failed novelist faculty are Don Johnson, a drunk (Hah!) blowhard, whose drivers license has been suspended so many times he needs a horse commute, and Kate Linder as the annoyingly cloying College President.
Shannon reluctantly impersonates a famous reclusive writer named C.R. Shriver. Hudson has invited Shriver, several times, to the college's writers' weekend gala, a hugely expensive and utterly useless event. Michael Shannon accepts the invitation because his name is C.R. Shriver. He just ain't the author.
The film has the typical underlying current of male-bashing; female boosting; and ultimately plot catering effect of driving any viewer not in the employ of Antifa to change the channel. There's no charm to the desperation of Shannon as he tries to resurrect his life destroyed by a failed marriage. Nor is there any decency to Hudson as she learns of the deception early on, but has Shannon continue to ruse so her pet project, the gala, can go on.
There are too many flat jokes about amateur writers forcing manuscripts on Shannon, as well as the denial by the faculty of their inept skills at exposition, which is why they ended up at some third-tier college. It's a depressing journey through a host of expected scenes. The resolution is also signaled (Along with everyone's virtue) early in the film.
Adding to the lack of interest in the movie is one of author's readings by Aja Naomi King as writer Blythe Brown. She's published the usual Castrate-the-Males- and-Get-Whitey-while-you're-at it-tome. King also attempts a vicious takedown of the duplicitous Shannon in full public display. It's disturbing on every level except a creative one.
It is a scene which, rest assured, had the usual gaggle of beta male writers and angry clipped hair Lesbian script doctors high-fiving each other after completing the draft. No one would dare change a word.
Which is the main problem with A Little White Lie. If reads and performs like a first draft.
As a published author, I guarantee any first draft is absolute garbage.
And so is A Little White Lie.