Having gone to three high schools myself during my teenage tenure, I feel like I have more knowledge about different kinds of high schools than the average person. That being said, if the things that happened in this movie happen, I must have missed out because Booksmart is freaking insane. It’s a good insane, one of my favourite comedies ever made insane, but insane regardless. The directorial debut of Olivia Wilde is the best comedy I’ve seen since Game Night, which was also among my favourite films of the year. Enough lollygagging though, let’s dive into Booksmart.
So the best thing about Booksmart is the comedy, and it is so funny. For a movie to actually get an audible laugh from me is rare. Does it happen from time to time? Yeah, I audibly chuckled a few times in Long Shot, and I had probably one or two extended laughs during Isn’t it Romantic, but my laughter in Booksmart was just constant. The lengths that our heroes go to in order to prove that they’re cool is astounding and the ways that they mess up in this endeavour are even funnier.
The funniest moment in the film is a drug sequence when the heroes are turned into dolls. I was nearly rolling in the aisles during this scene as it was just so funny. Due to rules about keeping our reviews PG, I can’t get into any of the things which happen in the scene but it is just hysterical. The rest of the movie is just as hilarious, in large part thanks to the next thing to talk about.
That next thing is the characters. Now while most of the characters are good, the two that I still vividly remember are Jared and Gigi, played by Skyler Gisondo and Billie Lourd. These two characters… holy crap. Jared is the biggest rich kid-trying to be cool- person ever and it’s hilarious. When he throws his own party, he literally gives people iPads. Watching his attempts to be popular, especially with his sweatshirts, is just hilarious. However, Billie Lourd is just on another level.
The character is so bizarre that Lourd’s performance just becomes mesmerising to watch. The jokes that come from Gigi almost all land. The rest of the characters are also great. The kinda depressing Principal Brown, the unintelligent Theo, and the two flamboyant members of the theatre department George and Alan are all highly amusing and give some really funny, laugh out loud lines.
For the sake of a flowing review structure, the last positive I want to talk about is the relationship between the two leads. Feldstein’s Molly and Dever’s Amy are both great, hilarious, over the top, well fleshed out characters, but the thing that makes them better is their friendship. The way that the two play off each other is really fun to watch with good jokes and it’s quite apparent that these two really care about each other. The close bond they have is also what makes the fight at the end of the film even more meaningful and emotional. It is really great.
Now, is the hardest part, as I try to rack my brain for something negative to say about the film, and I am pretty much at a loss, as I have pretty much no qualms with Booksmart. It has a great soundtrack, decent cinematography, stylish direction, a good screenplay, some amazing performances, quality costume and set design, and fantastic characters.
The only bad things that I could possibly say is that I think my standards for movie quality the rest of the year have just been dramatically heightened. It’s definitely my favourite movie of the year and it is a high quality I don’t think is going to be surpassed for a while. The other thing is, perhaps, that it is sometimes a bit too strange. I enjoyed it, but there were times I was thinking “A yacht, really?” Going far is great, but it might have toed the line once or twice.
Besides that, no problems. Booksmart is my favourite movie of the year, and there is no doubt about it. Is it my favourite movie of all time or even the last few years? No, there are a few that I enjoy more like The Nice Guys and Kingsman: The Secret Service, but that doesn’t diminish how amazing Booksmart is. From the raunchy comedy of the dolls to the heartbreaking beauty of the pool, Booksmart is a film for pretty much everyone that wants a funny comedy and is above the age of seventeen. Seriously, they should be at least seventeen, and if you have seen it, the only question I have is “Was that Cardi B?”