Comparing movies can be a tough and sometimes, frankly, stupid way to look at movies. However, watching Olivia Wilde’s new film Booksmart I obviously could not help but watch this thinking about Superbad, and no not just because the star of this is Jonah Hill’s sister (ok maybe a little). Superbad, when it came out was THE MOVIE of my high school years. It was the movie my friends and I quoted the most (I said “people don’t forget” 1000 times in high school) and basically how we wanted to live our lives. I hope Booksmart can have that same effect on a new generation.
Booksmart (which I saw at an early access screening NOT A BIG DEAL) is about two over achievers, played by Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever graduating high school and they realize they studied too hard and did not have any fun. So they decide to set out for a wild night to prove to all of their classmates that they can be smart and fun. They have a lot of fun, and crazy adventures along the way and of course learn more about themselves and their friendship along the way.
The direction of this movie is also very appealing for a comedy and that is a testament to first time director Olivia Wilde. She keeps the pacing of this really well, and has some great shots throughout this, which again is not something you say often about a comedy. She also gets a great assist from her real life Husband Jason Sudeikis as the principal of the girls high school.
Stock Up – Beanie Feldstein obviously is Jonah Hill’s sister and she seems to have some amazing comedic talent herself. I had seen her in Ladybird and Neighbors 2 so I was very excited to see her in a starring role. She did not disappoint at all, she was funny, crazy, and deep when necessary. Particularly her physical comedy was incredible and really owns the screen. She has a very bright future.
Stock Up – Kaitlyn Dever is someone who scared the crap out of me when she was on Justified and also had a fun role in Bad Teacher. Again though this was her first major role and she crushed every second of it. She had a very emotional arc and made it work with all the comedy as well. I look forward to anything she is in moving forward.
Stock Up – Olivia Wilde I talked about above, but this really was a great debut for her as a director. I always liked her as an actress, but when actors cross over to the camera it does not always work. Sure there are some lulls and a couple joke misfires, but this is about as good as she can ask for.
Stock Up – Skyler Gisondo is someone I feel like I grew up with. He played Young Shawn Spencer on one of my favorite shows ever Psych, he was in my guilty pleasure Once upon a time, and Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. He stepped up for this role and knocked it out of the park as the try hard friend in this. He was hilarious and nailed every line he had. All in on Skyler!
This is a great movie to see with friends, and I really hope it connects with current high school kids just as Superbad did me and my friends. I will say though my rating is held back just a bit because of the similarities to that movie. That does not diminish this fully though because I laughed my butt off watching this.
*All of my movie ratings can be found here.