On the eve of their high school graduation, two academic superstars and best friends realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined not to fall short of their peers, the girls try to cram four years of fun into one night.
Olivia Wilde‘s first feature is near perfect and I can’t stop thinking about how funny, charming and lovely it is. Centred around two booksmart best friends, Amy (Dever) and Molly (Feldstein) who are just about to graduate high school and fly into their respective bright futures, it’s a wild, coming-of-age romp – and I love it.
When Molly, during a smug argument with class mate Triple A (Molly Gordon) learns that not only has her ‘slutty’ nemesis got into a good university – and so have the seemingly less academic students from her year – she freaks out. All the sacrifice of a social life and all the hard work, what was it for? Sure, she’s done well but at what cost – all this time could she and Amy have been doing both?
With just one more day of school in front of them, Molly is determined that the girls will spend their last night of freedom at the biggest pre-graduation party in town. If they can just get the address. And so commences four years of missed opportunities crammed into one night.
While our BFFs rocket around town in search of the ultimate action, Amy has something to tell Molly but hasn’t gotten around to it yet. Molly has a secret crush on popular jock Nick (Mason Gooding), who’s throwing the party of the year. Meanwhile, ‘out’ Amy has the hots for skater chick Ryan (Victoria Ruesga) but is too shy to do anything about it.
We also meet a whole host of side characters including Principal Brown (Jason Sudeikis), hot AF Miss Fine (Jessica Williams) – misunderstood douchebag Jared (Skyler Gisondo) and his kooky girlfriend Gigi (Billie Lourd). Props also to the hilarious theatre kids George (Noah Galvin) and Alan (Austin Crute) who are proper little scene-stealers.
Will the girls make it to their goal and make their last night count? Well, there’s only one way to find out. There are way worse ways to spend a couple of hours and this is a smart comedy with well-rounded characters who buck against their high-school stereotypes. Molly is forced to examine her actions when she gets to know Triple A better, ‘Triple A’ being an unkind slut-shaming nickname she’s helped to perpetuate. And Amy realises there may be more to her classmate, beautiful but mean Hope (Diana Silvers) than meets the eye.
It teaches sweet lessons without shoving them down your throats. There are always lazy comparisons when it comes to film but in this case I kind of agree that Booksmart has a decidedly Superbad vibe to it – which can only be a great thing.
As for the central performances, Feldstein is the queen of everything as far as I’m concerned and her BFF chemistry with Dever is completely authentic. The girls are wonderful and I’m excited to see more from them. As for Olivia Wilde, Director – I can’t wait to watch what she brings us next – she’s knocked her first feature out of the ball park.