Booksmart – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Booksmart – Eve of Memories: High School Friendship … Anew      

We all look back at our high school days in fondness.  This feeling always brings you back to those great times you will never forget with friends.  These memories have been captured on the big screen through many different classics and genres.  In this old school rewind review, I revisit a story that falls into this category of high school days.  Booksmart might seem like a rehashing of any teenage story, but it manages to showcase the importance of fun in the heart of friendship.

On the eve of their high school graduation, Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) decide to cram all the fun they missed (over four years) into one final night.  The initial introduction comes off like any typical teenage comedy.  The outline predicates itself on surface level assumptions, where the main characters seem at odds with the rest of the cast.  Adding to this is the typical high school setting, suburbia crawl and common teenage archetypes.  The trivial sensations are all just a red herring from the truth: the revelation of Amy and Molly being blinded from the accolades of their graduating classmates.  This subtle twist reveals truths that put forward a sense of arrogance usually saved for the rival character(s).  In flipping their purpose, it creates a window of characterization that highlights an innate conflict of pursuing your dreams.  The endearment is brought through the relationship of Amy and Molly.  There longstanding friendship is put under a microscope of consequences where past deeds create fractures that are subtle but real.  They realize the truth of their high school days, and are determined (to a point) for one last hurrah.     

As they embark on this journey, the direction revels in the reversal of the coming-of-age tropes.  It creates avenues of unpredictability, allowing for the blunt humor to feel authentic to each character.  Each encounter the girls have with others is outlandish but wholesome, providing moments of fun, folly and growth.  The idea brings about a true sense of adolescent and innocence, giving depth that trickles down to every supporting character.  Once in the final act, everything comes together through the honest of faults technique.  This allows for the themes to become vivid within humor, creating a climax that brings true meaning of real friendship.  The epilogue brings everything full circle, giving that ‘looking back’ feeling to Amy and Molly.  Booksmart is a high school/coming-of-age tale that goes the opposite of what is common to the genre.  If you’re a fan of coming-of-age films or teenage comedies, this is an unexpected treat.  This is out on Blu-ray, but if it was in theaters, it would be worth the full price.            

Full Score – 4 out of 5 (Full Price)

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