“LeavingNeverlandAbductedinPlainSightSurvivingRKellyTheTedBundyTapesStudentloans ASPCAsommericalThatStanLeetributeThecollapseofcivilityduetoafracturedcountryandcorruptgovernment ThatsecondASPCAcommercial.”
M’bad, I meant from laughter.
EXACTLY. It’s been a longtime friends but I have good news. Prepare to resuscitate your deadened heart and crack it open to love again. That love is for Olivia Wilde (when is it not?) and her directorial debut Booksmart.
A coming of age story that promises “a wildly original, fresh and modern perspective” actually – breaking news – seems deliverable based on a crackerjack of a trailer.
Let’s breakdown this baby down.
Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) are wicked smart, dorky best friends. As their high school graduation descends, a horrifying realization hits them: while they were following the rules, their cool classmates were partying while still snagging good grades.
Time to change that. They will prove to everyone how fun they are, damn it!
The trailer is just short of three minutes but packs a lot of quality jokes. I will never not laugh seeing someone spray themselves with pepper spray – I don’t even care if it’s fake.
The writers really nail their quips too. There’s a nuance to making jokes about a group without making the group the butt of the joke. This feels like it’s a movie from people inside a community instead of poking fun from the outside. Pretty much, the jokes are coming from inside the house.
That Gay Kid in High School
Speaking of gay: OH MY GOD IT’S A GAY CHARACTER THAT DOESN’T INVOLVE A COMING OUT STORY.
Frankly, we’re past 20-Gayteen and there are only so many coming out stories to exploit.
That’s all I have to say about that.
The Worst Kind of Popular Kids
Another bit I love is that Booksmart ditches that one-dimensional cliche where popular kids are just hot dumbasses who think Thomas Hardy is the company driving Hollister out of business. Based on my experience, the popular kids fit their bullying in between AP classes and orchestra.
Look. These are the base attributes: Hot, Funny, Athletic, Popular, Smart. You get two – TWO – maybe three if you dare. Don’t be greedy and take more.
Things Are Good But What If The People Are Shitty?
Taking a break from what the trailer shows us, let’s explore who made this. As we’re in the Me Too era, I’m spending more time checking those credits. Booksmart seems to past the test. There’s a lot, a lot of women holding above-the-line positions. How many women you say?
- Director: ✓
- Writers: ✓ (oh shit we got four)
- Producers: ✓ (four more)
- Executive Producers: ✓
- Cast: ✓ (duh, but let’s count it)
One criticism that’s regularly fired off about initiatives like the 4% Challenge is that people with less talent will be hired for diversity points. But you can kindly suck it. Producer Megan Ellis, for instance, has worked on such films as Her, Zero Dark Thirty and Foxcatcher. Oh and NBD but she founded one of the production companies making the movie.
Along with the talented women on this film there are some talented dudes too. Comedic legend (ignore his last film) Will Ferrell is one of the executive producers. (After double-checking that there are no allegations against him I am confident in celebrating. I swear to god Will, if you let us down I will punch you in the throat.)
Mean Girls has been my go to comedy for the last 15 years but I think that Booksmart might be a solid contender. A bold prediction, I know.
Catch Booksmart in theaters May 24.