I was very excited to receive a screener for BOOKSMART the critically acclaimed comedy, and directorial debut of Olivia Wilde, released last Tuesday on DVD and Blu-ray. A modern twist on the coming-of-age teen story, “Booksmart” focuses on best friends Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) – who experience a shocking realization on the duo’s last day of high school.
In the film, Amy and Molly discover that many of their classmates, who’ve had active social lives throughout high school, managed still to get into college – several of them being Ivy League. Disheartened they’ve spent four years as dedicated overachievers, that intentionally skipped out on the party life, the friends decide to overcompensate and pack four years of fun and missed opportunities into one night – which happens to be the night before graduation.
Flipping the script on old high school tropes, like the group of nerds vs. jocks or the cool, wealthy kids against the not so cool and not so wealthy ones, the film presents a diverse array of characters, (mostly) secure and (mostly) operating in their identities, that have no (major) issues interacting with each other – with the exception of rich kid Jared (Skyler Gisondo), who erroneously believes his wealth can buy relationships.
Able to both have fun with and crush stereotypes – like during a scene where Amy and Molly are imagining themselves as naked Barbies while experiencing the effects from a hallucinogenic, and both admiring and condemning the toy’s unobtainable curves – “Booksmart” is witty and bold, young adult humor and moderately risque with it’s comedy.
I must admit at forty…something (LOL), the humor played a bit too risque for me at times. However, there are several moments in the film that are laugh out loud funny and highly entertaining.
The differences with generation gaps are real, yet the fact that “Booksmart” managed to incorporate enough laughs to hold my interest as an, eh hem, “old-head” and throw in a few characters that I may or may not identify with – like the teacher who still wants to be down with the young set or the principal contemplating his life choices – is a savvy feat.
Not as funny as I’d wished, but entertaining, smart and insightful nonetheless, I would rate the film a 3 out of 5 on the MMTrometer.
BOOKSMART is available now on digital, DVD and Blu-ray. You can watch the trailer and get additional information at the official website here.
Until next thought, Thomasena
In this fresh, unfiltered modern comedy, best friends and academic overachievers Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) realize they’ve missed out on pretty much all fun during high school. So, on the eve of graduation, they decide to make up for lost time with one wild adventure in this hilarious coming-of-age story about the meaningful bonds we create, also starring Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte and Jason Sudeikis.
DIRECTOR: OLIVIA WILDE
WRITTEN BY: EMILY HALPERN & SARAH HASKINS, SUSANNA FOGEL & KATIE SILBERMAN
PRODUCERS: MEGAN ELLISON P.G.A., CHELSEA BARNARD P.G.A., DAVID DISTENFELD, JESSICA ELBAUM P.G.A. & KATIE SILBERMAN
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: WILL FERRELL, ADAM MCKAY, JILLIAN LONGNECKER, SCOTT ROBERTSON & ALEX G. SCOTT
CAST: KAITLYN DEVER, BEANIE FELDSTEIN, JESSICA WILLIAMS WITH LISA KUDROW WITH WILL FORTE AND JASON SUDEIKIS
- Audio Commentary by Olivia Wilde
- Booksmart: The Next “Best High School Comedy”
- Pliés and Jazz Hands: The Dance Fantasy
- Dressing Booksmart
- Deleted Scenes