Booksmart has been on my list for a while. I heard such great things and was disappointed when it didn’t get the financial success a teen comedy starring two men might have. But really, Booksmart is just okay. A little better than okay, yes. But it’s neither new or fresh. A standard teenage one night coming of age story.
The obvious comparison here is Superbad. Two nerds, wanting to party, and one of them is/related to Jonah Hill. Amy and Molly have spent their friendship avoiding partying and being studious because that’s how you become the youngest member of the supreme court. But when Molly finds out that all the “party people” are also going to Yale or other amazing schools, she flips out. Graduation is tomorrow and this is their last chance to party in high school.
And so begins a night of shenanigans. Clearly written by people who went to ivy league schools (they all seem to these days?) Booksmart jumps from party to party, hoping that the majority subpar jokes will be carried along by the sheer likability of the leads and ridiculousness of the situation. But it’s hard to do that for several reasons. While the leads are both fun and funny: they aren’t the best actors dramatically. And when Booksmart takes a severe turn into full on Coming of Age Drama, instead of pussy jokes fart teen comedy, it’s a little jarring. Paired with some seriously bad editing. I like film, but I’m not an expert on it. At all. When I notice that shots don’t match up, you have a problem.
I mentioned Superbad. But the better comparison is Blockers: Female-centric, consistently hilarious, legitimately heartwarming, and with a much better lesbian coming out tale. If you didn’t see Blockers go see it, and tell me Booksmart is the better movie. I’ll wait.
Is it fair to compare films? Probably not by me. I think I’m just being harsh because it was hyped up so much. For a story that’s just so-so. I still laughed, but I doubt I’ll go out of my way to recommend it to others.
2.5 out of 4 stars