Booksmart

A Modern Comedy Classic

by Jarred Kiel

9

THE QUICK SELL
On the eve of their high school graduation, two academic superstars and best friends realize they should have worked less and played more.

RELEASE DATE
24th May 2019

DIRECTED BY
Olivia Wilde

WRITTEN BY
Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel, Katie Silberman

Running Time:
1h 42min

 
 

With two star-making turns by its leads, excellent direction from its first-time director, and great story-telling from its four writers, Booksmart comes away a huge winner and destined for classic comedy status.

Best Friends Amy, Kaitlyn Dever (“Beautiful Boy”, “The Front Runner“), and Molly, Beanie Feldstein (“Lady Bird”, “Bad Neighbors 2”) are planning their last night together before they go their separate ways.

Crazy situations arise, teens do “Movie Teen” things, and lessons are learned along the way. Sound familiar?

This film has a simple premise but exceeds the simplicity due to the clear care and love for these characters.

After a revealing exchange of “wait, you got into what school?” between Molly and some of the popular kids, Molly decides that she and Amy should go to THE big party the night before graduation. If these sex and drug driven kids can get both the party and scholarship, why can’t Molly?

With some hesitation and “Molly pressure,” Amy nervously accepts the plan for the evening.

The two of them go forth on an adventure that involves animation, murder mystery, finding oneself, and a lot of drug-friendly Gigi, Billie Lourd (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi“, “Scream Queens (TV)”) – in a Career-Best Performance.

Amy and Molly are two very distinct characters and I believe they chose the perfect actresses for them. Dever plays Amy with a lot of confusion and hesitation which counteracts Feldstein’s energetic and pushy Molly.

Amy came out two years prior and has no idea what to personally do for her love-life. She is, however, about to head to Africa for a semester to help make homemade tampons

Molly just wants to be known as the smartest person around anyone who can hear her. She is heading to Yale and can’t stop acknowledging it. She believes she is better than everyone, even Amy.

For her first time directing a feature, Olivia Wilde (“House M.D (TV)”, “Her”) shows major promise. Wilde brings the audience into this world as if we are the invisible third friend along for the ride.

Wilde gets a lot of help from some well-known comedic actors (Jason Sudeikis, Will Forte, Jessica Williams, Mike O’Brien, Skyler Gisondo, and Lisa Kudrow), but they never take away from the two leads.

There are so many films that try to achieve what “Booksmart” accomplished, and I am so glad “Booksmart” decided to go its own path. Please see this movie so we can get more female-driven, smart, caring, funny films like this one.

 

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“Booksmart” Conversation

  1. Avatar Ryan Pena says:

    Great review. I have been looking forward to seeing this ever since I heard about it during it’s festival run. Glad to see such a well reviewed female-led film getting such high praise. Definitely need to check this one out before it leaves theaters

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