"Booksmart" Movie Review

Updated on May 27, 2019
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

Booksmart | Source

Easy A. The DUFF. The Edge of Seventeen. The list of criminally underrated, largely ignored, flat-out excellent teen coming-of-age movies grows longer every year. And now we can add the fantastic Bookmart. (Yes, it’s somehow possible that Booksmart gets the box office attention it deserves, but as it comes at the start of the always-crowded summer movie season, I wouldn’t put down any money on it.)

You could very easily label Booksmart as Superbad for the two-x-chromosome set (particularly as it stars Jonah Hill’s kid sister Beanie Feldstein), but no. Greg Mottola’s 2007 R-rated comedy was little more than this generation’s Porky’s—hilarious and fun, sure, but about as filling as a wafer-thin mint. Booksmart ups the ante by seeing Superbad’s raunch and then raising the quality-film bar a notch or three, shattering stereotypes, zigging when it should zag, and generally giving us everything we didn’t know we want in a movie we’ve seen a hundred times before.

Feldstein stars as Molly, an overachieving Yale-bound senior who discovers on the last day of high school that her non-nerdy, party-animal classmates are also headed for very green pastures, despite actually enjoying themselves in high school along the way. Determined to make up for four years of lost time, Molly convinces best friend Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) to come along for the ride as she tracks down the big year-end blowout party.

Populated with some of the most memorable (and—hallelujah!—three-dimensional) characters to walk a fictional high school halls since perhaps Freaks and Geeks, Booksmart gives us a refreshing and honest world where the hot girls aren’t always bitches, the jocks aren’t always stupid, and the dorks aren’t always shunned. The script by Katie Silberman (Isn’t It Romantic), Susanna Fogel (The Spy Who Dumped Me), and two others, is as smart as it is spot-on hilarious, somehow taking a desolate boat party, a modern dance dream-interlude, and Alanis karaoke and smushing it (and much, much more) into the best teen comedy this side of Lady Bird.

Olivia Wilde, making her feature film directorial debut, absolutely crushes it, never seeming to try too hard, instead content to let the actors and the material win the day. That’s not to say there aren’t several times where she gets to make Booksmart her own (see the aforementioned modern dance dream-interlude), but the film never has what feels like a “Hey, look at me!” moment.

With glorified cameos from Will Forte, Lisa Kudrow, and Jason Sudeikis (not to mention a quietly hilarious turn by Jessica WIlliams) and a show-stealing performance from Billie Lourd, Booksmart has a little something for everyone, particularly anyone who appreciates damn good movies that are as fresh and clever as a high school day is long.


4.5/5 stars

'Booksmart' trailer


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)