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May 20 2019

Film Review: Booksmart

By: David Vicari

Actress Olivia Wilde (Cowboys & Aliens, Tron: Legacy) makes her feature film directorial debut with Booksmart, a teen comedy that is like a girl version of Superbad (2007).



Straight-A high schoolers Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) realize on the eve of graduation that they have never partied or had fun throughout their high school days. They decide to find the secret beer blast party that most of their classmates are attending. At the party, Molly hopes to impress the dumb jock, Nick (Mason Gooding), whom she has a crush on, while Amy hopes to hook up with skateboarding tomboy Ryan (Victoria Ruesga).

At first, I found the two main characters kind of obnoxious and their school mates to be annoying. However, as the movie progressed - and as the characters revealed themselves - I began to like them and became involved in their story. Minor characters even have more depth than I first suspected.

Booksmart is occasionally funny, but really hits its stride when the girls reach the party. An early detour when Molly and Amy are unknowingly given hallucinogenics and see themselves as actual Barbie Dolls feels detached from the rest of the movie. The scene is funny in and of itself, but feels like a separate short subject rather than a part of the actual movie.

Still, the two lead actresses do amazing jobs, and this is a mildly fun diversion from the giant summer blockbusters.

**½ out of four

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