If you’ve been following coverage of this year’s SXSW Film Festival, you’ve probably noticed the rave reviews for a movie called Booksmart. The debut feature from actress-turned-director Olivia Wilde is being hailed by some as the best teen comedy in a long time, which is no small feat considering that we’ve been treated to some excellent ones lately.
Unfortunately, for those of us who aren’t living it up at SXSW, we have to wait until May 24, 2019, before we can see what the fuss is all about. In the meantime, though, Annapurna Pictures has released a wonderful NSFW trailer that suggests the movie will live up to the hype.
Check it out:
Booksmart follows two smart high school girls (Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein) who, on the eve of their graduation, decide to finally cut loose. They spent their entire lives up until then focusing on their studies while their peers were out partying, having sex, and still also achieving top grades. Now, with college life on the horizon, the girls decide to play catch up by cramming four years of fun into one wild evening.
The trailer is a hoot. The humor is unfiltered and vulgar, but some teenagers actually talk like this. At the same time, the movie looks like a very heartwarming coming-of-age story about friendship and the awkwardness of teenage life, led by two protagonists who seem fun to hang out with for 100 minutes. That combination of heart and humor is a winning formula when it comes to movies of this ilk, and Booksmart looks like a sure-fire hit in the making. It’s been a long time since I last laughed so hard at a scissoring joke.
Of course, the basic premise of two nerdy students attending the biggest party of the year so they can become cool before college is reminiscent of Superbad. In that movie, a pair of best friends (Jonah Hill and Michael Cera) spent the majority of the film’s running time trying to buy alcohol and impress girls so they wouldn’t enter their college years as virgins. Booksmart is of a similar aesthetic, only this time the protagonists aren’t straight white dudes.
The similar plots aren’t the only things Bookstore and Superbad have in common, though. It is also worth noting that Feldstein is Hill’s sister in real life. Therefore, if this is the woman-centric spiritual successor to the beloved 2007 comedy, casting Hill’s sibling is a nice touch. Of course, this could be purely coincidental. Either way, it’s nice to see two actors from the same family make their own hilarious contributions to coming-of-age comedies with some edge.
That said, the Superbad comparisons shouldn’t detract from what looks like a fun, refreshing, modern comedy in its own right. Until now, the majority of movies like this have been bro-centric, to say the least. We’re more than familiar with stories depicting awkward teenage boys experiencing their social and sexual awakenings. Everyone, regardless of gender and sexual orientation, goes through these motions in life and movies should reflect the entire spectrum of teenage mischief.
As last year’s Blockers proved, there’s an audience out there hungry to see these raunchy hoots told from the perspective of women. And it’s about damn time. If anything, this emerging trend is giving new life to these types of comedies. Here’s hoping that we get to see many more for years to come.