Movie Review: “Booksmart” worthy of “High School Classic” praise

What are some High School Classics from the last couple of decades? Films that capture a strong coming of age they prepare to graduate and head off to college?

In the 80s? John Hughes films.

In the 90s? Ten Things I Hate About You. Varsity Blues.

In the 00s? Mean Girls, Superbad.

It would be fair to add Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut, “Booksmart” to this list. It captures the spirit of that last “One big party” vibe, with a terrific young cast and fun story that engages from beginning to end.

Kaitlin Dever and Beanie Feldstein star as Amy and Molly, two overachieving high school seniors on the eve of their graduation, who have discovered that they’ve paid all of their attention to academics and no attention to having a good time and enjoying their high school years.

And they’re determined to make up that time in one night.

What you get is a film that features a “laugh a minute” writing, innovative detours, and some new ground in this familiar story.

Dever and Feldstein lead the villain-less story, giving everyone involved a chance to shine and manages to get the audience to care about a graduation party for two characters will probably rule the world someday anyways.

At the heart of the story is the friendship between Amy and Molly that belongs right there with Ferris and Cameron and the “Mclovin” trio. Just terrific.

The film is perhaps a couple of minutes too long and might get a little ridiculous at times, but you’ll probably still be laughing.

You should see it. It’s an especially welcomed film in the middle of blockbuster season when everything is exploding in the other theaters. Booksmart a worth addition to the “High School Classic” library that you’ll probably revisit for years to come.

GRADE: A-

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