Friday, January 17, 2020

Booksmart (2019)

Streaming Service: Hulu
Movie Name/Year: Booksmart (2019)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 102 minutes
Rating:  R
Production/Distribution: Annapurna Pictures, Gloria Sanchez Productions, United Artists Releasing, Cineforum, Digicine, Eagle Pictures, Entertainment One, Forum Film Bulgaria, Forum Film Slovakia, Forum Films, Forum Hungary, Imagem Filmes, Myndform, Odeon, SF Film, SF Norge A/S, Star Films, Svensk Filmindustri, Universal Pictures International, WW Entertainment, Weltkino Filmverleih, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, NOS Audiovisuais, Sierra / Affinity
Director: Olivia Wilde
Writers: Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel, Katie Silberman
Actors: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Billie Lourd, Skyler Gisondo, Diana Silvers, Mason Gooding, Molly Gordon, Eduardo Franco, Austin Crute, Noah Galvin, Victoria Ruesga, Jason Sudeikis, Will Forte, Lisa Kudrow, Jessica Williams

Blurb from IMDb:  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.

Cat’s Point of View:
I remember finding the trailer for Booksmart hilarious and was quite optimistic for the movie. In fact, it landed at #12 on my Top 20 for its May release.

I wasn’t disappointed in the least. Booksmart exceeded my expectations. I laughed, I cringed, and I felt the rush of memories of my own high school experiences. Ah, nostalgia.

I can’t say that I was exactly an academic all-star, but I did spend most of my time focused on study rather than other extracurricular activities. I was very much like the main characters here in a lot of ways. When I began to come out of the shell I’d built around myself through all my parochial school years, I got a little reckless in my rush to make up for lost time. The story was incredibly easy to relate to.

Olivia Wilde (Her, The Lazarus Effect, Love the Coopers) really hit it out of the park with her full-length feature directorial debut here. I’m eager to see what she decides to bring to the screen next. Wilde captured diversity, humor, feminism, and all the awkwardness of finding yourself as you come of age with such an intelligent perspective. There were also little twists and turns that popped in just when I thought I had an outcome figured out.

There were layers to the characters that generally fall as flat stereotypes in most recipe movies of this genre. Of course, some of that credit has to be shared with the cast here. I can’t think of any single integral character that wasn’t portrayed well. If I had to pick a favorite character from the bunch, however, it would not be one of the leads. Billie Lourd’s (American Horror Story, Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi, Billionaire Boys Club) character, Gigi, was quite the unexpected treat.

The movie is definitely not for tweens or younger children, but well-timed for those that are ‘of age’ for the film’s rating. Some of the humor is raunchy but it doesn't go too far. I wouldn’t mind giving Booksmart a recommendation or even watching it again. 

P.S. - There is a brief scene during the beginning of the credits, shown in slow motion. Water balloons are involved. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 97%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 77%
Metascore – 84%
Metacritic User Score –  4.4/10
IMDB Score – 7.2/10
CinemaScore – B+

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3.5/5
Movie Trailer:

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