I don’t know if it’s just me, but sometimes watching coming of age movies can be so corny or predictable. There’s a certain formula to these movies that don’t always get executed correctly. Luckily Booksmart doesn’t come off as this super cringey or lazy coming of age movie. It doesn’t shy away from being predictable but this story of two best friends uses its R-rating to its advantage of creating an unbelievably funny movie.
I get it, what makes this movie different from every other film about seniors in high school trying to figure out how to go out with a bang or what the hell their journey in life will be like once they get their diplomas? The thing that stands out about Booksmart is simple: the leads. Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein as Amy and Molly respectively are unforgettable. Sometimes a good dynamic duo doesn’t always make a good movie but damn did it help in Booksmart. Amy and Molly made me cringe, laugh, smile, sad and everything in between from their last night to do something crazy in their high school career. They really killed it together in this film because otherwise, it could’ve easily fallen apart if these two actresses didn’t have such great chemistry.
The thing I liked best about Booksmart was that it took your typical stereotypes and made them into people you wouldn’t expect. The pretty faces could also party and be smarter and get into good schools. It decided to say screw those stereotypes in every other cringey high school movie and lets just finally make individualistic characters. Which they did do and it was great finally having a coming of age film that didn’t feel as predictable when it came to its characters.
Something I noticed as well was the fact that this film did not have a clean structured story. At the same time, it did not need it because it was a story of two teenage girls trying to live a once in a lifetime crazy night together before they have to part ways. It made perfect sense because it’s from the perspective of two young teenage girls trying to figure out how to be normal in just one night before their high school career is over. So, of course, it’s going to be a little messy and jumping from place to place.
The best part and the biggest reason to see Booksmart is that it’s genuinely funny. It’s not forced and they take it to a whole other level with its humor. Jason Sudeikis as the Principal? A pleasant surprise that I did not know I needed until I saw him in this film. Molly and Amy being explicit in the many things they talked about? Gold. It’s a comedy that’s so fitting for today’s generation of teenagers and it’s stupidly accurate in its humor.
My biggest critique is only a small one and it is that the film wasn’t raw enough. For me, a lot of coming of age films suffer from not being realistic enough or too cliched. Booksmart doesn’t suffer from being too predictable or cliche at all. But, I wanted to see more of the struggles that Molly and Amy went through in their own separate lives. I was pleased with the raw emotions they had for each other so it made up for what was missing.
Even though most of this movie takes place within a small time frame, as the audience you get to relate a lot to these two girls, especially if you were in their shoes once in your own lifetime. They made me laugh so much more than other movies about a similar storyline. The R rating does this movie justice with its humor and it’s another great addition to coming of age films. In a sense, Booksmart is familiar yet refreshing and it does a spectacular job at getting us to laugh and think about our own coming of age stories. It can make one reminisce the days where we were all once just trying to figure out what the hell happens after high school. And it’s just another reminder that friendship in any situation is the best to have and hold onto, no matter the circumstances.
Booksmart is now playing in theaters.
The film stars Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Jessica Williams, Jason Sudeikis, Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte, Victoria Ruesga, Mason Gooding, and Skyler Gisondo.