BOOKSMART – A Review by Gadi Elkon

Booksmart is so much more than just, “a female Superbad”.  Olivia Wilde’s feature film directorial debut is 2019’s first quality film of the year.  Here is my full review of the movie.

“Told from a wildly original, fresh and modern perspective, Booksmart is an unfiltered comedy about high school best friends 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.”  

Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein have created a fantastic duo that on appearance seems like the perfect female compliment to Michael Cera and Jonah Hill.  But the dynamic of Amy and Molly is rooted in so much more raw uniqueness.  Olivia Wilde direction showcases a strong push to not only have complete fun but also to test the boundaries of teen wildness.  Leaning more on Dazed and Confused or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off the film takes on more of a meaningful interpretation of wealthy public school kids.

The casting is a real highlight of the movie.  Not only are Dever and Feldstein fantastic finds like Cera and Hill were. Looking at the surrounding cast though I’ll mention a few faces you need to know!  Diana Silvers’ Hope character seems straight out of the bitch club of Mean Girls and here wild adventure with Dever’s Amy is a huge shout out to female sexuality in 2019 and beyond.  The duo though that almost steals the film is Jared and Gigi played by Skyler Gisondo and Billie Lourd.  This mysterious tag team lovers or best friends (not quite sure!) are downright hysterical.  Billie Lourd almost appears to be an ethereal fairy that magically appears when you need that dose of what the fuck.  Overall casting in this film is spot on.  Even the hot teacher quota is nicely done with Jessica Williams as the appropriately named Miss Fine.

Music choices are another quality element of the film.  This soundtrack echoes the best teen films.  That Dazed and Confused connection I think is fully showcased in Wilde’s choices of accompanying music.  Both hip and slightly aged the heightening of the characters with the music is a real treat of the film.

I won’t go on any more.  This film is freaking hilarious and yet still has enough bold choices to make it more meaningful than just another teen film.  This one seems to leap past that into instant classic and needs to be on anyone’s radar!  Granted sex, drugs and wild music are throughout so temper yourself with taking little ones to see it just yet.

For more information on the film please go to BOOKSMART.

Directed by Olivia Wilde

Written By Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Katie Silberman.

Rated R

Selig Rating A+

Running Time 1hr 42min


Wide Release – May 24th


The Selig Rating Scale:

A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.

B – Good movie

C – OK movie

D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.

F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.

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