Straight A students become party animals in one hilarious and heartfelt night
I often cringe at today’s generation, based on fashion, style, and knowledge of pop culture. Sometimes they know what VHS tapes and record players are, others are so braindead by their Snapchat and Facebook that they have no clue about either. But in any generation, it’s kind of their policy to drink under the age of 21.
I’ve seen a variety of this coming-of-age comedies like “American Grafitti,” “Animal House,” “Dazed and Confused,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Superbad,” and “Everybody Wants Some.” They were more in the male genre, now with “Booksmart,” we’re talking about the feminine side.
It’s the directorial debut of actress Olivia Wilde, and she does a brilliant job of capturing the insane lives of high schoolers before graduation. She also guides a sweet relationship between Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein as two straight A girls, Amy and Molly, in the story of how they focused so hard on school, they missed out on all the high school parties.
On their last night before graduation, Molly urges Amy to go to a high school party, where their respective crushes are at. If only they can figure out where the party is, resulting in a series of humorous situations.
The comic relief characters in the movie consist of two drama students (Austin Crute and Noah Galvin), the school principal (Jason Sudeikis, Wilde’s husband), a would-be popular kid (Skylar Gisando, finally in a good role unlike “Vacation”), a drunk (Billie Lourd) who pops into the scene when the girls least expect it, and a pizza delivery guy (SNL’s Mike O’Brien) with a gun.
“Booksmart” is a teen comedy that uses its words, humor, and music as improvisation and motivation. Wilde has directed a few music videos in the past, and though she claims she can’t sing, she still would like to use the songs (from Salt n Pepa’s “Push it” to DJ Shadow’s “Nobody Speaks”) as energy.
And with the help of writers Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, and Katie Silberman, they all guide Dever and Feldstein with a delicate relationship. This relationship focuses on friendship, honesty, and personality. Denver’s character Amy is a Lesbian, while Feldstein’s character is straight; and they support each other’s sexual orientations. This movie shows a lot of respect to this element.
There are some stressful situations, like one of them losing her phone, and where their friendship will take place, but still, “Booksmart” has its heart and humor in the right place. In fact, the entire theater was in stitches. The jokes are outrageously funny and sincere, and they’re not forced or labored. My grandfather told me that honesty is comedy, and that’s what this movie knows.