Booksmart, 8.1/10, was the latest film I saw as part of ODEON’s Screen Unseen. Normally as the countdown to the reveal ticks on, me and my partner guess what the film will be. This was on neither of our predictions. Typically, when the title appears you will hear a cheer or groan from the audience but when Booksmart appeared the cinema was silent. It would seem there was an unanimous sense of “what is this?”
On the eve of Molly (played by Beanie Feldstein) and Amy’s (played by Kaitlyn Dever) high school graduation, it dawns on them that they have spent their whole academic life studying whilst everyone else found the balance of being able to have a good time too. All work and no play left the girls wanting to seize their last opportunity to let loose and have fun, determined to squeeze four year’s of fun into one, single night.
Booksmart isn’t just another coming-of-age teen movie although the plot has been played out numerous times before. It was the specifics of Molly and Amy’s ride-or-die friendship that makes this film so special. Both actors give a natural performance that felt so relatable and that’s coming from a 24 year old male. This is only a credit to their abundance of talent. The details were so refined I instantly knew everything about their friendship, their past, their quirks and I was left wanting to know about their future. Not only are the central characters well-developed but the whole ensemble gave you an insight into modern teen culture: how they act, how they talk, how they define who they are, no matter how elaborate it may seem to an outsider.
For Olivia Wilde’s feature film directing debut, Booksmart is incredibly hilarious, visually appealing and has a killer soundtrack. The script is so tightly written and it is refreshing to see another example of a brilliant female perspective on the coming-of-age genre. I am not knocking Superbad or American Pie but looking back now, they seem rather outdated and male oriented. Booksmart opens up the conversation about female masturbation, sexual urges, role models, insecurities and female teen culture which is phenomenal. For too long now, it’s been a one sided insight into what being a teen is about and I think this will only open up the flood gates to further projects. There is an essence of Lady Bird about this film which I can only see as a huge compliment to the project. All in all, Booksmart is another great example of why I love ODEON Limitless. Enabling me to be able to see a film that would of normally slipped my radar and what a film it is. I highly recommend you take a chance on Booksmart if it comes to a cinema near you.
Entertainment (of its genre): 10/10
Overall rating….. 8.1/10