Wild Girls (Booksmart, 2019)

Booksmart_PosterRaunchy 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.

Spy Games (The Spy Who Dumped Me, 2018)

Spy_Who_Dumped_Me_PosterIt is Audrey’s birthday and she has not been having a good day. Recently, her boyfriend Drew dumped her via text, and her best friend Morgan is determined to bring her spirits up. When Morgan texts Drew that they are going to burn his stuff, he suddenly responds, asking her not to, and promising to show up the next day, but in the meantime, she is accosted by the CIA who announce that Drew is actually a spy. Drew shows up and gives vital information to Audrey and Morgan before being killed.

What ensues is the two being caught up in an international espionage plot as they try and determine who they can trust. Hunted by the CIA, British intelligence and a terrorist group they try and survive shootouts, car chases and evil torturers.

Honestly…I feel like I should just hate this movie and trash it. The plot is not fresh and the film is incredibly predictable. At no point did any surprises…well, surprise me. But you know what?

I enjoyed this flick. A lot. This is largely because the cast makes it work so well. I was laughing throughout the movies and the cast was the reason. Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon totally have great comedic chemistry.  They sell the heck out of their friendship and their comedic timing with each other is a blast. Gillian Anderson is a straight man character, but she creates laughs with the simplest of moments. The small roles are filled with people who just make the most of them (Lolly Adefope killed me with her role as a condescending co-worker and Kev Adams had me in stitches with his role as an Uber driver).

The Spy Who Dumped Me makes up for it’s shortcomings with such engagingly funny interactions and jokes that it left me smiling and laughing as I left the theater.

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