'Booksmart' Review

Updated on May 28, 2019

Booksmart is a 2019 coming-of-age comedy film directed by Olivia Wilde (in her directorial debut), from a screenplay by the writing team of Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel, and Katie Silberman. It stars Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Jessica Williams, Will Forte, Lisa Kudrow, and Jason Sudeikis. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay act as executive producers.

Academic overachievers Amy and Molly thought keeping their noses to the grindstone gave them a leg up on their high school peers. But on the eve of graduation, the best friends suddenly realize that they may have missed out on the special moments of their teenage years. Determined to make up for lost time, the girls decide to cram four years of not-to-be missed fun into one night. A chaotic adventure that no amount of book smarts could prepare them for.


Booksmart was a film I was really looking forward to. I love coming of age films. It's one of my favorite genres. I have a very special place in my heart for these films. Whether it be Superbad, The Edge of Seventeen, Lady Bird, To All The Boys I've Loved Before, Easy A, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, or a classic like The Breakfast Club. I even love a show like Freaks and Geeks. Thankfully, Booksmart was no different.

I found this film to be hilarious, and I laughed throughout the entire film. To be fair I can laugh at just about anything, but I still found it to be extremely enjoyable from start to finish. It was also relatable enough and had very loveable characters. I loved the two leads. I also really enjoyed the score and soundtrack, but I think the craftsmanship of the film is what really won me over.

Olivia Wilde did a fantastic job with the directing, especially considering this is her debut. The film was just so well put together. You usually don't see directing on this scale from comedies. I personally loved the underwater swimming scene. I thought it was beautifully shot and had a ton of emotional dept. I think that's the point where I said this is a great movie. I also loved the scenes where all the audio was cut out and only music was playing. Fantastic directing.

All in all, Booksmart was a hilarious coming of age film that I loved. My only real problems with it is that I would have liked to see a little more done with the side characters, and it did feel a little formulaic in a forced way at times, but it wasn't nearly enough to turn me off from the film.

Booksmart was a hilarious heartfelt film that I loved.


The acting was great. The chemistry and sisterly love between Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein is instant the second they're on screen together. I thought individually the were great, and together they were even better. When they were together you couldn't help but enjoy it.

Jason Sudeikis was in here for about five minutes and I thought he did a good job, and it's also always nice to see Feebee.

I wasn't too familiar with the rest of the cast. So in terms of first impressions, I thought everyone did a solid job.

There was nothing to complain about when it came to acting.


I thought both the plot and story were very well done.

It starts off with our two leads at school. They realize they messed up and decide to go to a party, and that is where the story takes off. What happens next is the usual comedic shenanigans.

The third act of the film is where I felt it was the most formulaic, but I also thought it was the best part of the film. It's not the funniest, but in terms of debt, emotion, and actually story, I thought is great.

There was only one real moment that I didn't particularly like. This might be a small spoiler, but our two best friends get into a fight. It's pretty standard and predictable, but here it just felt forced. The things they were saying to one another just didn't make a whole lot of sense to me, and I couldn't really connect with it. It was like seeing two random people yelling at each other for reasons you don't know. I wish they would have spent a little more time building it up. The things they say about one another, you just never really get that feel from these characters. It makes this scene feel very forced.

There were also scenes involving side charters that could have been better. What I mean is that I wished they would have built these characters up a little more so I could really feel the full impact of those scenes. Triple A gets a scene towards the end with one of our leads, but I didn't really feel the full impact because that character wasn't built up enough. Jared also fell victim to this. He did get a little more build up, but it still wasn't enough to feel the full impact of his scene.

Other than that, I thought they did a solid job.


Booksmart was a great film. It does have a few hiccups every now and again, but man was this a good film. Most of the jokes landed for me, great acting, excellent directing, and a great soundtrack made Booksmart enjoyable throughout.

4 stars for Booksmart

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    © 2019 Royce Proctor


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