Rating (3 out of 5)
Summary: “Booksmart” contains a few chuckles and well directed. Overall, the rather predictable movie lacks a clear learning moment. The writers definitely attempted for the key turning moment, but the moment is rather flat. A couple of the side characters are as interesting as the two main characters, and I wish they revealed a bit more about these characters.
Plot: On the day before graduation Molly (Beanie Feldstein) realizes her dedication to school and lack of partying may have been misguided. She talks her best friend Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) on going to the big party.
Detail: As the girls start their party night, and end up at the first party, the run across Gigi (Billie Lourd). Gigi is crazy, but she keeps appearing mysteriously at the various parties. A good gag. However, there wasn’t a revelation about Gigi like there was for the other characters.
The movie’s tone bounces around quite a bit which I believe hurts the film. The movie focuses on establishing their phone problems which forces them into the next situation. Later the girls drive like maniacs across town switches to fantasy, which counters they establishment of facts. I was okay with all the stretches, that is what made it fun.
The girls ingest some drugs (inadvertently) and intoxication episode is unique. However, the trip scene extends too long. A quick view of the dolls, and then cutting back to the girls on the floor in their delirium would suffice. Again, the tone jumps around from fantasy back to a normal.
At times “Booksmart” sets a new and fun tone for a high school romp. But then relies on high school cliche techniques. The stereotypical principal (Jason Sudekis) is an example of the cliche pathetic administrator. An unneeded character unless the director revealed something meaningful about how his goals in life, triggering the young girls to grow.
To end at the high school graduation and Molly’s speech seemed uninspired and lazy. The writers had the upfront premise but as in many movies, seemed unsure how to end this tales.