Artwork and words by Rrita Hashani.
Booksmart is a raucous dedication to friendship and it made me cry.
*tiny bit of spoilers*
Olivia Wilde’s directing debut could not have been more seamless in Booksmart. Wilde and her team of four female writers mastered the teen movie genre without sacrificing an ounce of humor. I’m already planning on buying the DVD asap and like, no one does that anymore.
The film follows two best friends, Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) on a wild night after they swear they’re going to show the rest of the school that they aren’t just smart, they’re also fun.
With the sincerity of Lady Bird and the ridiculousness of Superbad, this movie just became my favorite. We see Molly and Amy as the most genuine and cringey high schoolers that many of us could relate to.
I did not have a good time in high school, but this film made me want to experience it all over again. Okay... yeah no, but you get the point. Booksmart allows you to relive the intense emotions, your first time on drugs, that very embarrassing hook-up and that party you swear will change your life forever.
The film also covered Amy’s sexuality with the ease and grace that we’ve long waited for from Hollywood. Although she’s “been out for two years and [hasn’t] kissed a girl yet,” the film is unafraid in tackling the candid and relatable awkwardness of figuring out who’s gay or not. She asks a crush, “Would you… also have a hard time.. visiting Uganda?”
Each character is given a mini-arc that knocks down the high school stereotypes we’re so used to seeing. The popular slacker kids are all going to the Ivies -to Molly’s dismay- and one even says “I’m incredible at hand jobs but I also got a 1560 on the SATs.” The two leads have genuine interactions with each type of high school kid, from the rich kids to the drama gays and even the mean girl. But none of it is forced or shallow, which is another reason why this movie feels like such a win for its genre.
The best part for me was how real Molly and Amy’s friendship was. The two shared Abbi/Ilana-like compliment wars, matching outfits and too-real tales of flickin’ the bean, but they also fought. Best friend fights, although usually rare and far between, hurt the most. The person who knows you the best can sometimes make you face the things you don’t want to.
But, you never lose hope that the two will stay best friends forever. Although I, a weathered old lady at the sad age of 21, have experienced losing touch with friends I thought would last, this movie reminded me of those beautiful friendships of the past and the ones I have right now. F*ck, I love you guys !!!
So, definitely go see Booksmart with a best friend and cry about how much you love each other afterwards. The film is out May 24th, but the first six minutes are out for a lil taste: