Booksmart (2019) – Summary, Review (with Spoilers)

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Booksmart may make you feel representing characters like Amy and Molly isn’t enough anymore and that it doesn’t do justice to its supporting cast.


Director(s) Olivia Wilde
Screenplay By Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Katie Silberman
Date Released 5/24/2019
Genre(s) Comedy, Young Adult
Good If You Like Close Female Friendship

Awkward Leads

Films Focused On The Transition From High School To The Thereafter

Isn’t For You If You Find Movies Which Take Place Under 48 Hours And Yet Are So Lifechanging For The Characters Obnoxious
Noted Cast
Molly Beanie Feldstein
Amy Kaitlyn Dever
Nick Mason Gooding
Jared Skyler Gisondo
Gigi Billie Lourd
Anabel (Triple-A) Molly Gordon
Ms. Fine Jessica Williams

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Booksmart Plot Summary

Molly and Amy have been best friends forever and have largely spent their high school years studying. The reason being, they figured the only way to get into Yale and Columbia was to have high GPAs. So, they sacrificed going to parties, and seemingly even having extracurricular activities – only to learn the party animals, the ones they consider sluts or burnouts, they got into the same school. Add on Molly hearing horrible things said about her in their intergender bathroom, and that leads to Amy and Molly heading to Nick’s party.

Though not directly. By accident, though really just because they don’t know anyone personally, they end up in some warm-up parties before heading to the big event. One which leads to both of their lives changing and definitely leaving an impression they didn’t expect, nor their soon to be former peers.


Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. What was Amy arrested for exactly?
  2. Did Amy ever get her phone back and how?


Amy & Molly’s Relationship – 90

While parts of Molly and Amy’s relationship seems like it is more so meant to be #Goals than a realistic depiction of two people, it doesn’t take away from how much you love these two together. If it isn’t their compliment battles over outfits, it is them balancing each other out since Amy is an introvert and Molly an aggressive extrovert. But, of course, it isn’t all fun and games. After a certain point, things get real, and while the blow up doesn’t have the impact it should have, and barely feels like a blip on the good time bus, you recognize it’s necessary. Mainly to show these two have history and some of their relationship quirks, like a once a year use of “Malala” to make the other person agree to anything, are necessary.

For more on Introverts vs. Extroverts, check out this article from Positive Psychology

Jared – 89

What you have to love about Jared is that he is one of the few characters who feels like he gets to have an arc. Over the course of Booksmart’s 100+ minutes, he reveals layers to his person. And really thinking about it, he might be one of the few who isn’t revealed to us all by what he says, but also his actions as well. Making it so, if this movie was made into a show, you could imagine Gisondo becoming a heartthrob.

On The Fence

Everything Feels So Rushed – 75

The reason I bring up the idea of this becoming a show isn’t due to, like DUDE you wish you could see more. When it comes to Booksmart, you may feel like you get very little out of this film. If not, to put it a different way, it more so tells you than shows you.

For example, Gigi. In the film, she is this random weird chick who is Jared’s best friend and a funny character. Someone he acknowledges is definitely out of her mind but is the most loyal person he knows. But he also reveals there is more to Gigi than there appears, and it sucks that we only learn about that side of her thanks to Jared telling us.

The same goes for Anabel, aka Triple-A, she has an entire reputation for giving head and Molly is one of many who think less of her because of it. Yet, when we learn the truth behind what led to her nickname, it makes you wish it wasn’t a quick knowledge drop like we got with Gigi, but these characters were allowed to be fleshed out.

Hell, just to add one last example, though damn near every character qualifies, there is Ms. Fine. She speaks on how she was like Molly and Amy at one time, and when the pendulum swung during her 20s, she went crazy. In my mind, if this was a show, a whole episode, or half an episode, could have gone into Ms. Fine being this nerdy Black girl with no friends, who sacrificed her teen years, got a wake-up call, and went wild.

Amy & Molly Aren’t Generic, But They Don’t Feel Exemplary Either – 74

Yet, instead, we only hone in Amy and Molly. Who, don’t get me wrong, are wonderful, but to compensate for the years, decades, girls like them were supporting roles or never seen, now there is a tidal wave of them. And when it comes to Amy and Molly, neither character feels unique, or human enough really, to feel like they stand out and are any sort of forebearers. They more so feel like they are part of a trend and the only thing making their story, this film, different from their peers is that Booksmart is getting more marketing than those who paved the way.

Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing)

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Booksmart benefits from the fact that girls like Molly and Amy have yet to reach that saturation point where people no longer praise them being represented. Never mind playing the leads of the story. Hence the positive label. We haven’t reached the point those two are generic yet, and with many supporting characters making you wish we got to see more of them, that’s why this is worth seeing. Add in a few laughs and awkward moments with a touch of heart, and while Booksmart may not be seen as a movie to place on a pedestal, that doesn’t make it any less of a fun watch.

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