Raunchy teen comedies with heart are the genre people love, but often, the genre falls kind of flat, especially when they start leaning into being shocking over a soul.
Molly and Amy are studious best friends who stayed focused on their studies so they could go off to a prestigious college and get high paying jobs. But when Molly discovers that all the slacker kids who made fun of them got into the same school or other Ivy League schools, she snaps. She convinces Amy they must attend the big pre-graduation party. There is one hiccup though, they do not know the address of the party.
The film follows the girls as they keep ending up at the wrong parties and dealing with crazy situations.
The film does something clever early on. At the start, we are really led to see the girls as outcasts whose lives were ruined by the mean kids. But as the story unravels, Molly and Amy start to question their friendship, with Molly being forced to question a lot about herself. And the mean kids? Don’t turn out to be that mean. Like, Amy and Molly could have been friends with these kids if they had not actually kind of looked down on them as dumb kids going nowhere.
When they get to the party, I kept waiting on a cliche that never came. I kept waiting for the scene where the mean kids humiliate them…and instead, the story flips it on it’s head. The heart of their friendship and self discovery takes over, rather than worrying about being outrageous.
Beanie Feldstein manages to really come close to the line of being obnoxious without actually crossing it, so Molly is flawed but still sympathetic. Kaitlyn Dever has the role that gives her an extra edge for being likable, as she is the straight man much of this film. But together, they really connect.
I really enjoyed Booksmart and am looking forward to Olivia Wilde’s upcoming career as a director.