Olivia Wilde’s Book Smart may not only be the best coming of age comedies of 2019, but the best coming of age film ever. This is special. Trying to make this review has proven to be extremely difficult as every time I try and write about it a thousand great things about it comes into my mind, so get ready for incoherent writing.
Going into this film thinking it was nothing more than a Female Superbad and sure it had the same raunchy humour as Superbad, but this is its own gem entirely, an instant classic. Wondering what the hell Book Smart is? Or simply: should you go see it? Keep reading.
What Is Book Smart?
This film follows Amy and Molly who, after going through their high school lives studying and following the rules, realise on the last day of school that the kids who didn’t play by the rules were also going to good universities. They go on a mission. To party hard for one night. It’s not exactly a ground breaking story. Although compared to Superbad, Book Smart proves that you can always tell a familiar story with a fresh spin with the right screenplay, the right actors and the right director. Olivia fucking Wilde. The comedy does uses the stereotypes and cliches of the genre. We have the popular girl, the skater, the jock, the weird girl. Although these steroetypes are present, it brilliantly destroys those classic Hollywood tropes by showing us that theyre absurd, and that what you find going into adulthood is that there is always more to a person.
I really appreciated the screenplay by Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel and Katie Silberman. They really captured what it is to be a young person in 2019 and gave us humour and super relatable characters that felt genuinely authentic opposed to over the top. This felt like it was really made for us; true to life and messy and in a really proud way.
Beanie Feldstein & Kaitlyn Dever SLAY. You truly believe that Amy (Dever) and Molly (Feldstein) are best friends and most important people in each other’s lives. Both actors bounce off one another comedically and their realistic dynamic really makes the audience love and care for their relationship. It was so fresh and fun to be able to watch them be silly, confident confused, bad ass and hilarious all at once. All these things they embodied in such a natural, relatable way and Molly and Amy really did capture exactly what it means to be 17/18, on the brink of adulthood. Although they relied heavily on one another, their mini party adventure ended with their identity-formation, realising you can no longer lean on anyone else and that it’s time to grow on your own and do you.
Should You See Book Smart?
Book Smart is hilarious, real heart felt and fucking hilarious. Dever and Feldstein are an iconic duo and I hope this becomes the template for more bold female comedies. I implore you to see this.