Mulligan was questioning why her appearance had to receive special attention in that review.
'Variety' spent a concerning amount of time harping on Mulligan's appearance.
The reviewer evidently believed Margot Robbie (who serves as a producer on the film) might have looked better for the part. "Whereas with [Mulligan], Cassie wears her pickup-bait gear like bad drag; even her long blond hair feels like a put-on,"
Mulligan admits to reading the review, saying, she took issue with it. It felt like it was basically saying that she wasn't hot enough to pull off this kind of ruse. "It drove me so crazy. I was like, 'Really? For this film, you're going to write something that is so transparent? Now? In 2020?' I just couldn't believe it,"
[Plot of the movie]
In Promising Young Woman, Mulligan stars as Cassie, a med school dropout who is grappling with the trauma caused by an event from her past. To cope, Cassie feigns being drunk at bars and, when a "nice guy" picks her up and takes her home with the intention of taking advantage of her, reveals her true sobriety and takes out her inner demons on them.