Movie Review: Booksmart (2019)

Title: Booksmart
Release Date: May 24, 2019
Director: Olivia Wilde
Production Company: Annapurna Pictures | Gloria Sanchez Productions | ShadowMachine

Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) are lifelong friends who achieved great academic success in high school and are prepared to move onto elite colleges.  When Molly learns that the kids who partied throughout high school are also moving on to top notch schools and job prospects, her world view is shattered and she convinces Amy that they must enjoy one night of partying before graduation.

The movie depicts their adventures as the two friends end up at two other parties and experience many shenanigans along the way. The supporting characters are extremely eccentric and not at all believable as ordinary teens but they are hilarious, especially Billie Lourd as Gigi.  Dever and Feldstien do a great job portraying the tension in their relationship (Amy is too reluctant to try new things, Molly is too controlling) and how their night out proves cathartic.

The movie has a lot of elements of other teen comedies – it particularly reminds me of Can’t Hardly Wait since it deals with kids trying to find closure before graduation.  But it also feels fresh and original.  Mostly, it’s just really, really funny.

Rating: ****

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