Booksmart will easily find itself among the greatest teen comedies of all time. Rarely do films exist that are this well-written and actually hilarious. The comedic genre as of late has been overrun with raunchy jokes, lazy humour, cringe-worthy writing, bad acting, and stale storytelling. But, Booksmart is a breath of fresh air, consistently funny, heartwarming and an example of how to successfully stand out of the crowd.
Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) are best friends about to graduate high school as valedictorian and salutatorian. Always focusing on their studies, the girls pushed partying aside in an effort to ensure academic achievement. Molly is the Yale-bound class president with dreams of becoming the next Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Amy is her socially conscious pal headed to Botswana for the summer before attending Columbia in the fall.
On their last day of school, Molly is horrified to learn her peers weren't the burnouts she thought. They managed to get into Ivy League schools without sacrificing their social lives. Suddenly realizing that Amy and herself were the only assholes who didn’t do both, the girls set out on a mission to cram four years of fun into one night by attending the biggest party on the eve of graduation.
Olivia Wilde hit it out of the park in her directorial debut. While Booksmart is cleverly written, inclusive, and culturally significant, it was the chemistry and remarkable performances by Feldstein and Dever that brought the story to life. Together they effectively and authentically depict a compelling story of friendship with charm and hilarity. Most importantly, their characters are supportive and empower each other. It’s refreshing to have a film more focused on a strong female friendship than sex.
Additionally, Billie Lourd was scene-stealing as Gigi and extra points for throwing in a Gilmore Girls reference.
I did not love high school, but I did love Booksmart. This is without a doubt the one movie you should be seeing this weekend, this summer, and maybe all year.