HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
Trout, The
Zorba the Greek
Horror Crowd, The
Matthias & Maxime
Bullet for the President, A
Constant Husband, The
Anbessa
Man in Grey, The
Harakiri
Way to the Stars, The
   
 
Newest Articles
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
   
 
  Booksmart Get The Party Started
Year: 2019
Director: Olivia Wilde
Stars: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Jessica Williams, Jason Sudeikis, Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte, Victoria Ruesga, Mason Gooding, Skyler Gisondo, Diana Silvers, Molly Gordon, Billie Lourd, Eduardo Franco, Nico Hiraga, Austin Crute, Noah Galvin, Maya Rudolph
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) have been fast friends throughout high school, and now, on the last day before graduation, they feel they have succeeded in a job well done by attaining the best grades to get into the best universities in America. They have given over their lives to study for the past few years, and now can reap the benefits - but what if the benefits had their drawbacks? None of their fellow students have any time for them, mostly because they have never spent any time with them, and when Molly discovers that these party-hard peers have got the places they wanted anyway, despite not studying as hard as her and Amy, a terrible realisation hits...

Booksmart was something of an anomaly, as along with Eighth Grade which was released the same year, it was trumpeted as the great coming of age movie of 2019, an obvious relation of the runaway hit Superbad, and not simply because Feldstein was Jonah Hill's younger sister. Great things were expected of both films, yet despite terrific reviews, somehow they never caught on with any but a cult audience, and the predictions these would be much-discussed box office bonanzas were proven wrong as they underperformed and for many, slipped under their radars completely. In this case, was there just no room for another Superbad, or was it the female element putting them off?

Those who did see it and did not like it wrote off this as a pale copy of the previous movie, only with girls instead of boys as the focus, and they more or less had the same basic plot, teens trying to get into a party and let their hair down for one night as the peer pressure was instructing them to do. There was also an essential sympathy for the characters' naivety which displayed an almost parental benevolence, sort of saying "Let them have their fun today, for tomorrow they will have a lot of growing up to do," though both films ended by hinting they may not need to do as much growing up, once they were adults, as perhaps society was telling them they were responsible to be carrying out.

One thing that Superbad got right was casting a very age-specific group of young performers, so it at least came across as authentic as far as that went, yet Booksmart opted for an older cast, not incredibly overage or anything, but it was difficult to ignore most of these actors looked to be in their twenties, and that did make a difference. Not so much that it ruined the experience, but you were always aware there was a certain artificiality to the proceedings which, to be fair, director Olivia Wilde and her team of screenwriters would embrace at regular intervals, including but not exclusive to fantasy sequences such as the lead pair eating spiked strawberries and hallucinating themselves as Barbie dolls, or a sweet bit where Molly imagines being swept off her feet - literally - by her crush Nick (Mason Gooding).

Amy had a likewise bit later on where she has a near-ecstatic swim in the pool at the party, believing she will hook up with Ryan (Victoria Ruesga), the girl of her dreams, which leads to enormous frustration and embarrassment as the film was reluctant to allow its denizens to have it all their own way if it meant they could learn a life lesson to chalk up to experience. Let's not forget this was a comedy, and it was one without villains despite initial appearances to the contrary, where everyone wound up understandable and even relatable, so that generosity of spirit was welcome, but a comedy lives or dies on its jokes: did this hold up? To an extent, yes, there were amusing lines and situations, but they did tend to get lost in the endless scenes of Amy and Molly bigging each other up in confidence boost pep talks, simply because nobody else is interested in doing it for them; by the fifth time around this did grow wearing. Yet it was difficult to dislike Booksmart unless you were truly determined, since it wanted to be liked so much. Music by Dan the Automator.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1346 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: