Booksmart is a wonderful journey into learning that life is full of possibilities. It’s a perfect movie for today’s day and age where high schoolers are focused in on trying to do everything possible they can to get into a good college.
The two main characters, Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) are the Salutatorian and Valedictorian of their high school in California and they never partied once in high school. The last day of school they find their cohorts have all managed to get into the same prestigious universities they have. The movie follows them trying to change their one note high school careers and partying the night (before graduation) away.
Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut is extraordinarily fantastic, with some absolutely beautifully shot scenes. Most of the scene introductions have a great landscape view, but they’re also shot from unique angles, giving us a different perspective as to the party Amy and Molly are attending. There’s a pool at one of the parties, and the camera utilization for that scene was absolutely fantastic. It’s one of the most heart breaking scenes in the movie, but I found myself wanting to hit rewind to rewatch the shot.
Booksmart has a high comedic value, and while I’m disappointed to hear it’s struggling at the box office, I am genuinely appreciative of the fact I was the only one in my theater. I laughed so hard, and they were good belly laughs, too.
Gigi (Billie Lourd) is an absolute blast, and every scene she’s in is an absolute highlight. It is rated R for strong sexual content and language and both are definitely present. I don’t have strong issues with the rating, but this is just a warning for my grandma when she reads this review later. (Hi Grandma!) The rating matches up to the reasoning for it, and the content was both well used, and meant to further the message of trying new experiences. The Barbie drug trip scene is absolutely hysterical, and if I hadn’t been in the middle of my row I probably would have fallen out of my seat laughing.
I have always found movie or TV show high schools strange. They were all very different from my experience. I sure didn’t party, which is why Amy and Molly’s characters spoke so much to me, and why Booksmart felt more authentic.
I will say, though, that there is a student-teacher relationship and that was wrong and weird and it never should have been included, if you ask me.
Where the film shines is when it spotlights the friendship between Amy and Molly. They hype each other up, compliment each other, force each other (in a good way) to do things they’re scared to do. They fight, like any good friends do, but it’s all over typical stuff girls fight over. Love and experiences. They’re such perfect friends, I love them. Not to mention Dever and Feldstein have such great chemistry. They remind me of Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill in 21 Jump Street.
Overall, this is a phenomenal movie, one people will wish they had caught in theaters when they discover it later down the road. It’s all about learning to let go and live a little, showing us we can still accomplish the same results. Life is about the journey, not the destination. Booksmart is a great journey init of itself, and I was sad when we got to the destination (end of the movie). If you check out a movie this summer, I would put this one at the top of your list to watch.