As Comic-Con hits its stride, this weekend is sure to be full of superheroes, dragons, witches, wizards, zombies, vampires, and every other wonderful thing the world of comics (and well beyond) can throw at us.
So, I thought I’d take a different route with this week’s blockbuster with a smart, witty, and riotously funny comedy, “Booksmart.”
For four years Molly Davidson (Beanie Feldstein) has been focused exclusively on her academic goals and future ambitions, swearing off partying and other high school cliches because she thought that was the only way to get into Yale (the first step of an elaborate multi-part plan to become the youngest Supreme Court justice in history).
On the last day of high school, this A+ student and general overachiever is sickened to discover that many of her less-scholarly classmates have also gotten into excellent schools, despite being jocks, artists, and generally less focused on academic pursuits. The revelation that she and her best friend Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) have done high school “wrong” sets the pair off on a whirlwind adventure with one goal in mind — fit four years worth of high school revelries in one night.
Needless to say, this marathon of typical teen moments before they graduate results in some hijinx for the ages, as our heroines race against time to complete their high school experiences before graduation.
With a supporting cast that includes Lisa Kudrow, Jessica Williams, Will Forte, and Jason Sudeikis, you know this movie is funny. And Billie Lourde blows them all out of the water with a side-splittingly funny performance as the omnipresent and perpetually high classmate. But, as wonderful as the humor is, it’s the heart that makes it something special.
The dynamic of Feldstein and Dever is indescribable (but I’ll do my best). Whether they’re dancing in the street, discussing their post-grad plans, ditching the party they didn’t want to go to, or destroying each other with words that cut like daggers (epic verbal sparring), the chemistry is constant and completely out of this world. Even as their circle expands to include their classmates (all of whom are ridiculously well-written and performed), the two of them are the lifeblood of this film.
Oh, and did I mention that not only stars female leads, it was also written (Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel, and Katie Silberman) and directed (Olivia Wilde) by women? It matters and it shows. What these ladies have created is truly something special.
So, if you’re looking for a smart, sweet, hysterical break from the parade of superheroes and singing animals (or just want to see a good movie while sitting in the air conditioning) check out “Booksmart.”