Run Time: 1 hour 42 min
Release Date: May 27 2019
Director: Olivia Wilde
Cast: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Jessica Williams
On the eve of their high school graduation, two academic superstars and best friends realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined not to fall short of their peers, the girls try to cram four years of fun into one night.
The directorial debut from Olivia Wilde brings us a film much similar to Superbad but one that definitely can compete when head to head within this teen comedy genre. Booksmart is so similar in fact, there are plenty of people calling this a rip-off, but these similarities also give this film the charm and essence it needs.
A coming of age story about two “nerds”, Amy & Molly, who realise they’ve worked hard for so long only to find out their school counterparts, that went and lived their lives outside school, are going onto similar things, provoking these two girls to go and live life for one night. Nothing groundbreaking here, except maybe one scene where out lead characters turn into Barbie figures, entertaining but was a little odd. A film which was predictable at times but that in no way affects the overall viewing experience. The story flows and doesn’t feel disjointed at any point but it’s not the storyline where this film thrives.
One thing this relies heavily on is its dialogue, throughout this film it knows when it needs to be serious and when it can throw a joke into the mix, the comedic timing is spot on. At points where it is serious in nature is when the emotion on this film is added. Wilde really found a way to balance this hilarious and emotional script from beginning to end.
The chemistry between these two leading characters is vital, something that oozes off the screen. In fact, there isn’t a weak point within this cast, all of which add something to the screen when front and centre. Therefore creating this High School world most can relate to, with a mixture of personalities, which for once it seems everyone mostly gets on and even grows up through the film.
Similarities to Superbad were inevitable, but this directional debut from Olivia Wilde stands alone. Somewhat predictable, but the chemistry between the two leads and the balance of comedy and emotional moments make this an enjoyable viewing. A good coming of age teen comedy which many will enjoy.