BOOKSMART (director: Olivia Wilde; screenwriters: Emily Halpern/Sarah Haskins/Susanna Fogel/Katie Silberman; cinematographer: Jason McCormick; editor: Jamie Gross; music: Dan “The Automator”; cast: Beanie Feldstein (Molly), Kaitlyn Dever (Amy), Victoria Ruesga(Ryan), Lisa Kudrow (Amy’s Parent), Will Forte (Amy’s Parent), Molly Gordon (Triple A), Jason Sudeikis (Principal Brown/uber driver), Noah Galvin (George), Eduardo Franco (Theo), Skyler Gisondo (Jared), Billie Lourd (Gigi), Mason Gooding (Nick), Nico Hiraga (Tanner), Diana Silvers (Hope), Michael Patrick O’Brien (Pizza Delivery Guy); Runtime: 105; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Megan Ellison, Jessica Elbaum, Katie Silberman, Chelsea Barnard, David Distenfield; Annapurna Pictures/United Artists Releasing; 2019)
“Carries off its crazy antics in an entertaining way.“Reviewed by Dennis SchwartzActress-turned-director Olivia Wilde, in her debut directorial effort, gives us a slickly done charmingly lewd film about teens who party after leading a sheltered life. It’s scripted by Harvard grads Emily Halpern, & Sarah Haskins, and doctored-up by Susanna Fogel and Katie Silberman. The nerd teenager coming-of-age comedy is better than most from this genre, as it follows along the path of a “Superbad” for girls to give it a somewhat fresh angle. Student-body president Molly (Beanie Feldstein, Jonah Hill’s sister) and the lesbian school Valedictorian Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) are best friends. The high-achieving high school seniors studied hard during their high school career but on the eve of their graduation wished they fooled around more as they observe so many of their party-going classmates are also going to top colleges. The plan of the activist Amy is to take a year off to live in Botswana to do humanitarian work before attending Columbia. While career-minded Molly plans to be at Yale studying law, as she follows her dream path to the Supreme Court. But for one night, the academic girls plan to let go and cram as much fun into their last school day as possible and see if they can make up for lost time. Their plan entails crashing a wild house party. At the party they take LSD, Amy vomits on a possible boyfriend (Victoria Ruesga) and Molly spends the night in jail. The raucous female buddy comedy nails it when depicting how the very bright but socially awkward girls might act out their pent up desires while partying with their coolest classmates. There’s nothing new about this plot, but it carries off its crazy antics in an entertaining way and pulls no punches.
REVIEWED ON 3/1/2019 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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