movies

Booksmart is really the only movie that matters right now.

I can’t help but imagine what life would have been like if a movie like Booksmart had existed when I was a teenager.

Booksmart holds tight everything that makes high school movies a particular kind of magical, the heightened emotions, uncertainty about the future, first crushes and of course that unbreakable bond you feel with your best friend.

Luckily for adults and teenagers alike, Booksmart is not the kind of movie where a jerkish teenage boy takes a girl’s glasses off to reveal she was really “beautiful” all along and therefore worthy of a happily ever after.

Thank God.

Instead, Booksmart follows the trajectory of two high school ride-or-die best friends, played by the perfectly cast duo of Beanie Feldstein as Molly and Kaitlyn Dever as Amy.

Take a look at the truly raucous trailer for Booksmart, post continues.  

Throughout their high school years, Molly and Amy turned their backs on the majority of partying and high jinks their classmates indulged in, in favour of studious exam prep and a multitude of extracurricular activities. During their final hours of high school they are smug in the knowledge that while their classmates drank their futures away, they both scored entry to the colleges of their choice.

This all goes to hell, however, when they discover their hard-partying classmates have all been accepted into prestigious colleges as well, all without sacrificing any of the fun.

Caught up in a blind rage Molly decides that they’re going to squeeze all of their high school fun and memory-making into one last night before graduation and so the two embark on an all-night buddy-cop style adventure across town to track down the biggest party of the year and hopefully hook up with the guy and girl they’ve been crushing on.

From there, their night descends into pure madness as they move through a series of weird and wild parties along the way, attempt to hold up a pizza delivery guy after fashioning face masks made from their own hair and get caught in a very cringey situation with their high school principal and an Uber.

Along the way, this laugh-out-loud comedy is fuelled by the kind of exhilaration that can only be found at this particular point in life on the brink of high school graduation.

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Oh, and the movie also contains perhaps the best we’ve-accidentally-been-drugged scene that has ever been committed to film along the way. So there’s also that.

Not since the cult-classic Superbad arrived on the big screen in 2007 has a high school comedy so accurately captured this specific moment in time by offering up a storyline so thick with both nostalgic emotion and truly bawdy comedy.

The comparisons to Superbad have actually followed the film since its debut on the festival circuit but according to actress Olivia Wilde, who made her directional debut with Booksmart, the comparisons are not unwelcome but they’re also not the most important takeaway from her film.

“I happen to be a big fan of Superbad,” Olivia told Mamamia in a statement. “What we absolutely have in common, beyond the obvious high school setting of the film, is that that film is truly about love between friends. That’s very true in our film as well. In our film we are also creating a love letter to those intense bonds that happen in high school and how profound those relationships are.

“I do resent the tendency that we have as a culture to label every female-focused film a female version of a male classic. Because, of course, we weren’t trying to be Superbad.”

Aside from the brilliant script (honestly, the one-liners in this film are the stuff that dreams are made of) and fast-paced action, Booksmart’s best attributes are the cleverly written cast of supporting characters and the performers who were brought on board to portray them.

Particular standouts include Billie Lourd, who displays a wicked sense of comedic timing in her role of Gigi, the girl’s glamourous and truly bonkers classmate who always seems to magically be one party ahead of them all night.

Lisa Kudrow is also in fine form as Amy’s mum Charmaine, who is very supportive of her gay daughter’s life and relationships, even though she’s convinced that a “Korean face mask” is a weird kind of sex act and not a run-of-the-mill beauty treatment.

Olivia Wilde’s husband, Jason Sudeikis, is also a welcome supporting act as their high school principal Jordan Brown.

“We just wanted to find people who were special in the way that you find in classic teen movies like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Breakfast Club, Clueless – all these classic films in the canon that have incredible ensembles,” Olivia said. “Our intention was to always undercut sentimentality with comedy and to always ground every situation with reality.”

Booksmart is the type of movie that has the power to reach across all ages and genders with its comedy and heart, do yourself a favour and don’t miss it.

Booksmart is in cinemas Thursday 11 July, it is rated MA15+.

For more stories like this, you can follow Mamamia Entertainment Editor Laura Brodnik on Facebook.  You can also visit our newsletter page and sign up to “TV and Movies”  for a backstage pass to the best movies, TV shows and celebrity interviews (see one of her newsletters here). 

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