I feel like I’ve been excited to go and see Booksmart for about 16 years. The build up for this has been dragging on for ages, and the last few months I’ve felt personally victimised by the endless trailers and tube posters mocking me as I counted down the days.
So imagine the enthusiasm levels as I ventured to our local Vue (boooo! but my lovely friend Laura had been blessed with free tickets so we made an exception) as we headed to catch Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut last week. I’ve been monitoring the twitter rows about it with half an eye, with people majorly freaking out about it getting a big release but not seeming to do as well as say, John Wick in box offices takings. Which yeah is sad and annoying, but not exactly unexpected. Or angrily ranting about it being ‘not as good as Ladybird!!’ Who said it was?! We can have two good films about young women, nerds.
Booksmart introduces us to Amy and Molly, two hardworking academic students who realise on the last day of High School that the kids who partied hard have gotten in to the same Colleges as they have. Feeling like they’ve missed out, they cram a whole bunch of parties into one night – resulting in all sorts of japes.
I don’t want to be dramatic, but this film is heaven. Most of that has to be down to Olivia Wilde’s skilful direction, and the 4-strong team of female writers. FUCK. YES. The jokes come thick and fast and land flawlessly, almost without exception.
The two main characters are perfectly, perfectly cast in Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein, and the chemistry between them is so palpable that I not only believed they were best friends, I also wanted to be in their crew so badly. Their comic timing is skilled, and Beanie especially just has funniest delivery. I smiled throughout the whole 1 hour and 42 minutes, and laughed out loud a butt load of times. The ‘WHO GAVE YOU PERMISSION TO TAKE MY BREATH AWAY?’ scenes are so funny, and the girls-supporting-girls theme running through the whole film is so fresh and joyful to watch.
The soundtrack is one of the best things about it, with each pounding party track bursting on to the screen over brilliantly cut montages and sassy slow mo entrances. I loved their matching necklaces, I loved the powerful women posters adorning their bedrooms – I loved it all so much.
Look, it’s obvious that I was into it. On our way out of the cinema, Laura and I concluded that we are definitely the target audience for it: a feminist, female heavy, party-vibes comedy with witty lines, banging tracks and an emotional climax about the value of female friendship? If we didn’t like it, there would be something deeply wrong with it – but that isn’t to devalue it – this should be a film caught by all.
Also, Billie Lourde is fucking GLORIOUS in her role as the bat shit cray Gigi and I wanted to stand up and clap at how great her first entrance in the film is. Olivia Wilde, please do more films.
There is a tiny, TINY, lag in the middle when they’re on the way to the last party. But in reality, I didn’t want it to end so this wasn’t even an issue.
I watched this with one of my oldest and closest friends, with a bottle of wine, on a Thursday night. Could anything be better than that?