Booksmart | Teen Ink

Booksmart

September 8, 2019
By Anonymous

 Booksmart proves to be an emotionally engaging adventure that gets to the core of what it is like to be in high school. The movie revolves around Amy and Molly, two high school best friends that do everything together. They are high-academic achievers and believe in doing whatever it takes to secure themselves a good future, by only focusing on studying, improving their academic chops and ensuring that they get into a dream college. Now that it's a day before graduation, they are both happy with the Ivy League schools that they have gotten into, and it seems like they have successfully accomplished all of their high school goals. While they both found it to be difficult, having the other there for them allowed them to be able to truly grind and do the hard work necessary to do better than their peers.

However, while in the bathroom, Molly overhears a few classmates talking about how they really feel about her. Quickly discovering how disliked she is and how people only view her as someone that's obsessed with school and only school, Molly reacts by trying to shove down their throats the fact that she will be attending a prestigious university next year. Thinking that will win the argument for her, Molly soon has her mind blown when she discovers that she isn't the only one going to a good college. Molly finds that almost everyone in her grade got into solid colleges, even the ones that spent time partying. Realizing that both her and Amy have possibly approached high school incorrectly, the duo decides that they need to change their high school story and go to a party tonight, in order to make sure that they won't just be remembered for the girls that only studied. Determined to make this night special and capture all of the special moments of their teenage years in one night, the girls find themselves on a wild adventure that will certainly forever change their lives. 
 

Booksmart creates charismatic characters that are meaningful, passionate and full of so much emotion that it ensures audiences will be swept into the film through its captivating story and relatable parts. At the heart of the movie is the relationship between Amy and Molly, and because of that, all of the problems that they have, whether with each other or with outside sources, are fleshed out and become the core of this wild movie. Due to a fantastic concept fueling the whole ride, the movie flows quite seamlessly without there ever being any real bumps in the road. 

 While Booksmart will certainly draw comparisons to just being a female Superbad, this isn't the worst thing in the world. There are some glaringly obvious similarities that make it seem like this movie certainly drew more than a little inspiration from that fan-favorite classic, and the parallels between the two are more common than not, but that's okay. Although there is only about a decade in between the releases of both movies, a lot has changed for high schoolers during that time period. This allows Booksmart to be a modern movie for modern problems, and instead of just merely showcasing the problems that occur when childhood friends must say goodbye to one another, like Superbad, this also deals with the pressures of succeeding well in life and how far some might go. Additionally, the female-led cast helps to create a drastically different point of view that helps to provide even more insight into what it's like to go through the four challenging years of high school. There are social problems, parent problems, and just so much pressure that all get highlighted in this epic.  

 Booksmart has a talented cast that shines throughout and transforms into their teenager roles with ease. Kaitlyn Dever is superb as Amy, and her character is one of the most fundamental to the actual story. She helps to bring plenty of teenage problems to life, especially her character's struggle with her sexuality. Beanie Feldstein's Molly is quite noteworthy, and while her character isn't necessarily likable at first, she certainly grows on the audience, and her chemistry with Dever's Amy truly becomes the soul of this clearly meaningful dive into a world of high school problems. There are in fact plenty of other notable roles, like Jason Sudeikis' Principal Jordan, Billie Catherine Lourd's Gigi, and Molly Gordon's Triple A that all help to shape the movie, but Feldstein's Molly and Dever's Amy steal the spotlight more often than not. 

 Booksmart has just about it all, including a bold cast, a surprisingly fresh story and an unsurprisingly high amount of sophistication that elevates the meaning of high school drama to the next level. The movie is obviously suited to actual teenagers in high school, and it truly appeals to them with their ability to showcase realistic problems. There's certainly a reason why Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie an uncanny 97%, because it truly is an absolute must-see that deserves to be seen. It's that good. 


The author's comments:

"We chose. We didn’t party because we wanted to focus on school and get into good colleges. [...] But the irresponsible people who partied also got into those colleges, they did both. [...]
So we messed up. We didn’t have to choose." - Molly


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