ITOL 2019 Round-up: Booksmart

By Claire L. Smith

Staring Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever, Olivia Wilde‘s comedic coming-of-age film “Booksmart” follows two overachievers who attempt to cram years of high school fun into one night. Yet, their friendship will be tested when they are confronted with the changes and obstacles that come with graduation and growing up.

One of the main messages of this film revolves around the importance of experience and breaking out of your comfort zone. Best buds, Molly and Amy both seem to have wasted the fun times of high school by relentlessly studying so they decide to turn the night before graduation into the ultimate high school experience.

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The film does an excellent job at reforming typical high school stereotypes and giving them a comedic, contemporary twist. It also rightly expresses the value in experience; you can spend all your time studying and planning towards a desired life, but there is always a life to live and enjoy, and you don’t have to sacrifice that for success.

One of the main messages of this film revolves around the importance of experience and breaking out of your comfort zone.

The film also touches heavily on the trails of female friendships as the girls step out of their comfort zone and soon discover not only flaws in their personalities but in their friendship. Throughout the duration of the night, both girls come to the realisation that they are both critically flawed with Molly being over-controlling and selfish, and Amy too submissive and cautious – both of which have a negative impact on their friendship and lives.

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However, what makes the film admirable is that they both work to overcome these flaws in an effort to build a new chapter in their lives and a better friendship. They also establish their independence from one another instead of leaning so heavily on one another and feeding into each other’s flaws.

Filled with important lessons and fun times, “Booksmart” proves there’s more to life than being good in school.

Molly also learns a valuable lesson in judging and slut-shaming other girls when she misjudges Annabelle aka ‘Triple-A’ who is labelled as promiscuous by their graduating class. However, when Annabelle helps her out of a sticky situation, Molly learns of the value in accepting other people as she gains a newfound friend in Annabelle and a newfound understanding of the consequences of slut shaming and spreading rumors.

In a society were slut shaming is still very prevelent, this is a great message to implant in a film directed towards a younger audience. Expecially when many young women/girls have either faced unfair judgement for their sexuality or know of someone facing said judgement.

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Filled with important lessons and fun times, “Booksmart” proves there’s more to life than being good in school. The fun humour and vibrant performances allow us to follow and relate to each character as they take the terrifying next step into young adulthood and independence.

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