Booksmart is an absolute blast that WILL make you howl with laughter. It’s one of the best coming-of-age films I’ve ever seen, just like 2017’s Lady Bird is (which happened to have Beanie Feldstein in it). Both films are coming-of-age stories directed by ace first time actors-turned-directors, Booksmart holds the beautiful direction of Olivia Wilde and is a ride to not be missed.
This film contains layers upon layers of irresistible incredible charm. With Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein delivering ridiculously-stellar performances, it had me giggling, smiling and howling from beginning to end. Similar to the remarkable nature of Gerwig’s Lady Bird, this film feels like an instant classic.
Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) are academic overachievers, who on the eve of their graduation come to a huge realisation. Molly and Amy are inseparable friends, who meticulously plan their schedules to align and have many sleepovers, but things get rattled as they finish high school. Everything changes when they find out about all of her peers who party are going to good colleges as well. Determined to make up for lost time, the girls go on a chaotic adventure that never goes fully right.
Incredibly sharp and witty, Booksmart is 2019’s best film. The two are the perfect pair of friends, Dever and Feldstein have unmatched chemistry that beams beyond bright. Written by Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, & Katie Silberman never lacks a second, it is always clever and hysterically funny, giving the pair a true sense of friendship and realism. Even in the chaotic and craziness that is the adventure of the film, Wilde never loses sight of her vision that owes a lot to the razor-sharp writing.
From the first frame, it sets its tone and its characters in a way that’s so seamless, you feel you’ve know the pair for years. That sense of trust and loyalty is key, as everything feels so real and genuine that every moment hits you (in comedy, tenderness or craziness). The opening “oh sh*t” dance scene is the pinnacle example of why this film works so well, it’s a mixture of their sheer chemistry, humour and kookiness. All captured just in the opening. In addition to that, the “shotgun” scene also captures the ever-sharp sarcastic humour delivered wholly brilliantly by Dever, specifically in this moment.
Olivia Wilde’s direction truly is amazing, showing a real technical and emotional mastery from scene to scene. Constructing a narrative that centres around the girls, but has so many uniquely quirky individuals, and remarkably never loses touch. Unlike a lot of (recent) comedies, the direction of Booksmart has so much style and essence. Wilde brings visual flair and excitement to the equally as excited pair of best friends, it really is a treat for the eyes.
Booksmart is a masterful film, that excels with its ferociously wild performances and ace direction. It’s easily one of the best coming-of-age films ever made and perfectly captures the teenage essence, with its inherent innocence even in all the pursuing madness. There is no way to not love Amy and Molly, they are just too compellingly great and playful.
This is NOT to be missed.
5/5 Stars ★★★★★