REVIEW: Booksmart: Inclusive and Progressive

I don’t know about you, but there is something about teenage coming-of-age movies that are incredibly fascinating to me. From “The Breakfast Club” to “American Pie,” these movies continue to land on my favorites list no matter how much I mature – and age.

Sometimes, though, it seems these new movies – not the classics I grew up watching – are harder and harder to relate to. But that isn’t the case for a new movie opening up this weekend. “Booksmart” is smart and refreshing and progressive, and downright funny.

Told from a wildly original, fresh and modern perspective, it is an unfiltered comedy about high school friendships and the bonds we create that last a lifetime. Capturing the spirit of our times, the film is a coming of age story for a new generation.

The plotline centers around academic overachievers Amy and Molly who thought keeping their noses to the grindstone gave them a leg up on their high school peers. But on the eve of graduation, the best friends suddenly realize that they may have missed out on the special moments of their teenage years.

Determined to make up for lost time, the girls decide to cram four years of not-to-be-missed fun into one night – a chaotic adventure that no amount of book smarts could prepare them for.

Digging through other reviews, both professional and from theatergoers who were lucky enough to catch an early viewing, comments such as it is “the best movie of 2019 so far,” “hilarious script,” and that it puts “a fun, fresh, and female spin on the high school coming-of-age comedy,” I have to agree.

Generation Z got its coming of age film – it’s very own classic.

What I really liked about the movie, and the reason why I think I could relate so much as a nearly 40-year-old was that it stayed true to the essence of what female friendship is all about.

Created by women, from the director (actress Olivia Wilde) to the team of screenwriters Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, and Katie Silberman, the movie doesn’t carry some burdensome weight of expectations, though.

It’s freeing to watch.

Olivia Wilde told the New York Times that her goal with the film was to make “a generational anthem—something that would help people find the joy and fun of growing up.”

And she did.

The movie also was cast with an incredible lineup of fresh faces.

The co-leads Beanie Feldstein, younger sister to Superbad co-star Jonah Hill, and Kaitlyn Dever also emerge as superstars in this movie.

And did I mention it was FUNNY?

The comedic flow was so genuine and truly entertaining for adults as well as teens. I cannot remember a time when I laughed that hard.

“Booksmarts” is in theaters everywhere on May 24.

 

Bianca R. Montes

Bianca Montes is an award-winning journalist and former Managing Editor of Park Cities People. She currently serves as a Senior Editor with D Magazine's D CEO publication. You can reach her by email at [email protected] or follow her on Instagram @Bianca_TBD. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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