I was a big fan of John Hughes’s movies about teenagers–Pretty in Pink, 16 Candles, The Breakfast Club, etc.–so Booksmart took me back to an era where movies about young people were common. Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart features two High School friends who studied and worked hard for years in order to get into elite colleges. And, they do! Amy gets accepted into Columbia University and Molly gets into Yale University.

Kaitlyn Dever plays Amy–a shy, gay, lonely teen who harbors a secret. Molly (played by Beanie Feldstein) is the Class of 2019 valedictorian. Molly has compulsive grammarian tendencies: she uses a felt-tip pen to correct graffiti on a unisex bathroom wall. Molly’s abrasiveness is both her greatest strength and greatest weakness. Other students dismiss her, while Molly’s intensity produced stellar SAT scores. Both girls speak Mandarin as a private language to communicate while other people surround them.

Booksmart was written by Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel, and Katie Silberman. The movie follows Amy and Molly on their frantic search to find a wild party on the night before Graduation. Much comedy and some sadness result. Well worth seeing! GRADE: B+

10 thoughts on “BOOKSMART

  1. Jeff Meyerson

    I do want to see this one. I like Feldstein – who is Jonah Hill’s little sister – as Jenna the virgin LARPer in WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS.

      1. Jeff Meyerson

        Jackie, not surprisingly, didn’t care for it, so I am watching it myself. I love that they are supposed to take over the New World, or maybe just Staten Island. The scenes at the Council meeting were funny too.

      2. george Post author

        Jeff, Diane didn’t care for WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, either. But I think the antics of the vampires are very funny and the writing is sharp and sophisticated (with a bit of blood added). Dark humor at its finest!

  2. Patti Abbott

    I saw it and it is smart, well-acted, well-directed. And yet, I found it too similar to other movies in this genre to really love it. Or maybe I am just too old. I’d give it a B though.

    1. george Post author

      Patti, I had some of the same feelings about BOOKSMART that you did. I think that because it was Olivia Wilde’s first film that she directed, Wilde played it safe. I can’t wait to see Wilde’s next film!

  3. Michael Padgett

    This is a must see for me. I remember Kaitlyn Dever fondly from her role as the wonderfully spunky kid Loretta McCready on “Justified” a few years ago.

  4. Rick Robinson

    I’ll admit I’m tempted, and if it were on YV tonight, I’d watch it. But I won’t go to the theater for it, or try to “stream” it (however that works, for heaven sees).


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