Booksmart

[1.5 stars]

I really had been looking forward to this movie after all the hype. But either I missed the point, or I’m just not the audience. This was not Lady Bird, Eight Grade, Flower, or any number other coming of age stories. It was basically just The Hangover with kids. And I wasn’t the audience for that either.

Despite a few funny moments, and a great turning point of realization for Beanie Feldstein (The Female Brain), and despite the great work between her and Kaitlyn Dever (We Don’t Belong Here), I couldn’t even watch the whole film. I was bored and unable to suspend disbelief to accept the broad story and characters. It wasn’t just metaphor for the huge feelings of young adulthood, it was an absurdist reimagining of High School and stepping into adulthood.

For a first feature, director Olivia Wilde (Life Itself) showed some solid control and good handling of her charges. This isn’t a classic, or even a good film to my mind, but it isn’t a bad demo real for Wilde. However, the script was a mess and aimed at a small segment of audience. Given that the four writers involved are well grounded in broad sitcom and movie humor, I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised.

I realize your mileage may vary, but this isn’t about gender…I know several women who were also unable to watch the whole thing, and who considered it just as ridiculous and absurd as I did.

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