Movie Review: Booksmart

I love movies that take place in a single day.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, American Graffiti, The Goonies, Clerks, Die Hard, Can’t Hardy Wait, Superbad …

I love them. They’re fun! The stakes are high because there’s an inherent deadline involved in the plot … even if it’s just getting to a party. The characters bounce in and out. We never stall in a scene for too long. It’s my favorite kind of movie.

Knowing that Booksmart takes place the day and night before high school graduation, I was rolling in to the movie already ready to like it. I did zero research before seeing it, but Instagram ads are hella targeted, so I knew that Olivia Wilde was making her directorial debut with this film.

This movie focuses on Molly, valedictorian and class president, and Amy, salutatorian and Molly’s best friend, as they attend their last day of high school. They are overachievers and booksmart (get it) and have big plans for their lives. Molly is going to Yale and Amy is going to Botswana to make tampons with tribeswomen (yep) before going to Columbia. Turns out, while they were studying, doing homework and spending all of their time working to get into great schools and build amazing futures, their fellow classmates were partying and still getting into great schools. Shaken by this realization, Molly and Amy set off to go to THE PARTY the night before graduation and prove to everyone that they are actually cool and fun.

Hi-jinks ensue … religious parents, empty boat parties, awkard lyft rides, over the top theater kids, murderous pizza delivery drivers and, of course, heartbreak. All set to a ridiculously cool soundtrack. For real, go listen.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. The performances were great. The music was perfect. The direction was stylish. But my favorite part of this movie? BILLIE LOURD. Her character Gigi absolutely stole the show. From her slow-mo intro … hanging out the window of a car while Leikeli47’s “Money” plays … to her last moment on screen … passed out on her back on a grand piano on the graduation stage … every Gigi moment is perfection. Apparently her performance was so incredible on set that they kept writing her into more scenes. Great call, Katie Silberman!

Every generation has their iconic high school movie. I had Mean Girls … and it looks like Booksmart will be the one for this generation.

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