Review: Smart Kids Pack High School Fun Into One Night in “Booksmart”

Booksmart Beanie Feldstein

Wow, this is a fun and smart film. I’d heard all the critical hype about “Booksmart” when it was released last year, but didn’t get around to seeing it, although I didn’t get around to seeing many films in the theatre. So I was happy when “Booksmart” showed up on Hulu recently and finally saw it. Yes, it’s another high school film, but this one like its characters is a bit smarter and funnier than the rest, I think.

First-time director Olivia Wilde cast the film very well, with the leads Beanie Feldstein (“Hello Dolly”) and Kaitlyn Dever (“Last Man Standing) seeming like real best friends and nerds alike, suddenly waking up to the realization the day before graduation that despite the fact that they studied through high school and eschewed fun, their classmates also got into top schools despite drinking, partying, cutting up and breaking rules. So they’re determined to get to the premier Graduation Eve party and hit some milestones (i.e. first kiss, etc.) before it’s all over and they go their separate ways. There’s also great turns from (especially) Billie Lourd (“Star Wars”), Noah Galvin (“Dear Evan Hansen”), Jason Sudekis, Jessica Williams, and many others.

It’s directed with great style and verve, making a point of continually puncturing not only the tropes of teen comedies but also the self-delusions of the main characters (who are young and still learning, of course). I could have done with a little less of the “contemporary” blasting soundtrack since of course I’m old and little of the new music these days sounds good or original to me.

It’s won a raft of awards but curiously has received not even one Oscar nomination. Hmmm.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

More Stories

Patsy Ping Pong

Surviving the Lockdown: Play Ping Pong With “Absolutely Fabulous”

First, I want to say that I take this situation very seriously and worry about all those affected health-wise and also economically. But for those of us lucky enough to still have work plus be able to do that work at home, or for those who have no choice but to self-isolate, I want to provide some ideas to survive the lockdown. You could exercise – do some situps and pushups or use your home elliptical – or write that

Read More »
The Boy in the Dress

David Walliams Teams With Robbie Williams: “The Boy in the Dress” Musical at Royal Shakespeare Company

If you don’t recognize David Walliams’ name, think one-half of the “Little Britain” duo. Ah, that guy. Anyhow, he’s built quite a career beyond “Little Britain” in television and film, but his greatest success, eclipsing everything else is his career as a children’s book writer. His first in 2008 was “The Boy in the Dress”, brought to life by legendary book illustrator Quentin Blake. Although ostensibly heterosexual, David Walliams has never shied away from his fey side, and this was

Read More »
There are no comments yet, add one below.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.