What was supposed to be a brand new exciting coming of age movie ended up being just another movie about high schoolers trying to fit in.
“Booksmart,” directed by Olivia Wilde, is a movie about two girls who have spent their whole high school careers focused on their studies instead of having a good time. Amy and Molly feel good about their choices until Molly (Beanie Feldstein) realizes even the popular kids who spent their time in high school partying also received good grades and will be attending Ivy League schools. After their realization the two decide to spend the last night of their high school experience going to a proper high school party.
This movie brings a new perspective to the “teenagers go to big parties and get wild” cliche, by adding a gay plot and a feminist outlook. Although it did feature classic stereotypical theater gays, “Booksmart” also features a gay character (Caitlyn Dever) whose whole personality isn’t defined by her lesbian status. Feminist perspectives start at the beginning of the movie when Molly is meditating listening to a tape of a woman tell her that she has accomplished more than all of her peers. We also see things that are highly progressive such as a genderless communal bathroom in the high school.
Although it has a new flare, this movie still contains loads of old cliches like the stereotypical popular kids and obnoxiously gay theater guys.
“Booksmart” was highly stylized featuring bright colors in the production design and wardrobe. The movie kept fast pacing for comedic beats which kept interest in the punch lines. The reaction shots aided in giving an extra punch to a joke.
The film received a 97% on rotten tomatoes and a 7.6/10 on IMDb, but didn’t pull in the door busting ticket sales opening weekend as expected.
This film is a new classic for this generation’s coming of age movies, a lot of young teens can relate to aspects in this film especially with its gravitation towards a more progressive outlook. The movie is worth its ticket price for a viewer with an hour and 45 minutes looking for a light hearted laugh, but if they were searching for anything deeper they might want to reconsider.
I would give “Booksmart” 3 stars out of 5 because of its average plot line.