Booksmart (2019) – From A’s to F’s

Olivia Wilde’s “Booksmart” is a fantastic debut of a high school comedy movie in terms of everything. The cast, the dialogue, the script, the eye-candy cinematography, the table-turn plot, the editing, all of them. It’s one of those movies where you want to watch again while a personal story from the director as well. It starts with Beanie Feldstein as Molly is meditating while Kaitlyn Dever as Amy comes to her. While they dance oddly, they are actually not the type of teens in general. They are nerds who just didn’t know what young people often do. You know, we talk about drugs, sex, party-in-your-bedroom, and etc.

The rule very tightly bound them, when their schoolmates, almost all of them, break the rules. Only the two of them don’t. Not yet decided to break the rules, finally decided to give it a try for just one day before graduation and their farewell. The two of them were tightly confined by regulations, especially also very attached to feminism activity like how they were both first times watching porn, just hilariously funny.

After Molly discovered her friends weren’t interested in the study and they all decided to go to top universities, Molly’s shaken. From here, Molly tries to get Amy to go hatching at Nicky’s house, a path to the ladder of maturity until their last days as a teenager. The point of “Booksmart” isn’t only about a comedy teens story but also inserting modern features. Be it characters or tropes, Wilde deflects everything using her own perspective.

She has a great sense of humor, although it doesn’t really land on me sometimes because comedy is subjective, I still enjoy and laugh in some scenes. The comic relief, Billie Lourd as Gigi, the awkwardly meeting by chance, awkwardly circumstance, and visual event gag. And there is a scene when these two girls are hallucinating because of drugs and turn all sequences into a stop motion animation. It’s a bizarre adventure, not because of Wilde’s personal view on her experience but because we really feel like an emotion.

The chemistry between Feldstein and Dever is amazing. They both show a high-lows dynamic between Molly and Amy. In one full night, in the city of Los Angeles, we really explored into their deep friendship. It’s about togetherness, where you can laugh, learn new things, or it could be a conflict because you fail to understand each other. Similar to “Superbad” when it comes to the relationship between two best friends. They understand each other using science, have their own language which the audience also understands. They all have those unique things and only those who understand.

Wilde supported and encouraged their character very well, leaving a close impression between the director and the actress. Besides describing their personality well, they even have great performance. The entire shot when the big argument came was done by one-take and the editing in this scene is just great. On the other hand, the entire movie is filled with many mainstream decent pop songs. It doesn’t really click on me when it comes to music. Yet, “Booksmart” relies on these tropes, not really exaggerated, or even nerd seems like a bully in this movie. The bully is not cliche but not too exaggerated. It’s just character, a character.

The supporting cast is just as great as the main cast, funny as the main cast, and they are giving an essay on screen as well. The movie is full of diverse, a more modern trope, not too cliche besides stories, sexual orientations, and many more. This is a comedy film, like “Lady Bird“, one of my favorite comedy movies as well in 2017. “Booksmart” has a lot of fun in terms of anything, put aside a modern comedy into something to focus on. Yet, the movie is filled with many emotional moments of comedy as well. Nothing is wrong, yet it came with a sufficient proportionality.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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