7.5/10
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343 user 156 critic

Booksmart (2019)

R | | Comedy | 24 May 2019 (USA)
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In 14 theaters near Ashburn VA US [change]

On the eve of their high school graduation, two academic superstars and best friends realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined not to fall short of their peers, the girls try to cram four years of fun into one night.

Director:

Olivia Wilde
Reviews
Popularity
12 ( 6)

'Booksmart' Cast Pick the Best Female Buddy Comedies

Director Olivia Wilde and her Booksmart cast revealed some of their favorite female friendships in movies and TV, and discuss what makes a female buddy comedy click.

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kaitlyn Dever ... Amy
Beanie Feldstein ... Molly
Jessica Williams ... Miss Fine
Jason Sudeikis ... Principal Brown
Lisa Kudrow ... Charmaine
Will Forte ... Doug
Victoria Ruesga Victoria Ruesga ... Ryan
Mason Gooding ... Nick
Skyler Gisondo ... Jared
Diana Silvers ... Hope
Molly Gordon ... Triple A
Billie Lourd ... Gigi
Eduardo Franco ... Theo
Nico Hiraga ... Tanner
Austin Crute ... Alan
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Storyline

On the eve of their high school graduation, two academic superstars and best friends realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined not to fall short of their peers, the girls try to cram four years of fun into one night.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Getting Straight A's. Giving Zero F's.

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content and language throughout, drug use and drinking - all involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Mandarin

Release Date:

24 May 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Booksmart See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,933,620, 26 May 2019, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$18,887,419, 13 June 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a May 24, 2019, interview on National Public Radio's program "All Things Considered," director Olivia Wilde explained the word "Malala" as it is used by the two best friends Amy and Molly as an inside reference between them: "'Malala' is their code word for unconditional support. So what 'malala' means is that what I'm asking you to do now with me you must do....Malala [Yousafzai, the Pakistani advocate for girls' education and the youngest-ever Nobel laureate] is one of their great role models. And I think that's why she holds the most significant place in their friendship, the idea that if you call 'Malala,' you must really mean it." See more »

Goofs

When Molly is giving the graduation speech, just before the last lines, the tassel disappears and it appears again when she joins Amy. See more »

Quotes

Principal Brown: There's nothing more exciting and daunting than the blank page. Oh, that's good. Maybe I'll do a book of quotes.
[He starts recording on his phone]
Principal Brown: There's nothing more exciting or daunting than the blank page.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the beginning of the end credits, the main actors are seen getting hit in the face with water balloons in slow motion. See more »

Connections

References Almost Famous (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

How We Are
Performed by Lia Ices
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I don't get it
15 May 2019 | by ofumalowSee all my reviews

Of course, as usual the ten-star advance "user reviews" here are from people who "mysteriously" have never written an IMBD review before--i.e. studio shills. But "Booksmart" has gotten great early reviews, and several people I know who saw early screenings really did love it. So I went in fully expecting to enjoy it, and was dismayed when immediately--I mean, even before the opening title--the film was making "Funny, huh? Wasn't that funny?!?" noises despite nothing particularly funny happening. I'll give Olivia Wilde points for making a very colorful and energetic movie that might indeed convince a lot of people through sheer high spirits that it's a great comedy. But instead it felt just strenuous to me, trying too hard to cover the fact that the funny, clever, witty material wasn't actually there.

The premise is ridiculous--bookworm protagonists are horrified to discover that after all their sacrifices for the future, all the party-hearty types at their high school ALSO got into Ivy League schools. This would make sense if it took place in a wealthy community where everyone was a "legacy" student thanks for their family's donations. But the movie makes a point of singling out two characters as the only "truly rich" ones here. Those two, like every character save the two lead girls, are complete "SNL"-style caricatures. What's worse, they all also seem to be played by actors who are about a decade too old, once again apart from the two lead girls.

Even so, the premise and the casting and everything might have worked if "Booksmart" were an outright farce. But it seems to be aiming to be sorta-kinda "real," while the characters nonetheless behave like no teenagers past or present. Everything here is so over-amped and contrived for effect, yet the ingenious comedy situations and bright lines that approach might have served are nowhere to be found.

Like I said, I don't get it--it's a very lively and well-crafted movie that nonetheless felt completely phony and unfunny to be. It's not boring, but I have no idea what people who like it are responding to, beyond the fact that "'Superbad' for high school senior girls" is probably good enough for many. But I liked "Superbad" well enough, and this movie just did nothing for me. You could say it aims for a mix of "Superbad" and John Hughes, but those movies do a much better job turning recognizable teenage life into farce with some heart, and if Wilde intended something similar (I'm not sure what she intended, beyond punching across every scene as if she might never be allowed to direct again), she misses the mark. A for effort, C for derivative/uninspired content, and D for over-effortfully trying to hide that empty content. It's like a student paper with a very splashy cover but nothing original or thoughtful inside.


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