Fans of coming of age comedies, prepare to meet your new favourite: Booksmart. This fresh and funny movie is the directorial debut from Olivia Wilde and has already impressed critics at film festivals such as South by Southwest and San Francisco International Film Festival.
Having put all of their energy into studying and getting into good colleges, Amy (Beanie Feldstein) and Molly (Kaitlyn Dever) realise that they've missed out on wild nights and parties with their peers. So the night before graduation, the pair aim to compress the four years of fun they've missed into one single, outrageous night.
There's so much to love about this funny, relatable comedy, which you're not going to want to miss. Here's why you need to see Booksmart when it's released on 27th May.
1. It has relatable leads
Amy and Molly are incredibly smart girls. These are two friends who haven't partied away high school by getting drunk or in trouble. Instead, they've studied for every single one of their tests and deservedly aced them. They're the type of teenager that every parent dreams of.
Even though most central characters in coming of age comedies are likeable outcasts, Amy and Molly are likeable and good. They represent every person who did their best and then some in school. Those who volunteered for all the extracurricular activities, who were familiar with teachers and principals by going the extra academic mile, who planned all the high school dances and events. If this sounds like you, then you'll surely relate to Amy and Molly in Booksmart.
2. There are hilariously cringe-worthy moments
Like any high-school movie, prepare for a lot of cringe. After all, isn't that what being a teenager is all about? In one of the trailers, you can see Amy attempt to talk to one of her crushes which ends awkwardly, so we can expect even more cringe from these goody two-shoes looking to break the rules.
3. There's a stellar cast
Beanie Feldstein is no stranger to the teen film genre, having played the funniest character in the Seth Rogen and Zac Efron frat-boy comedy Bad Neighbours 2. She also portrayed perfect best friend Julie opposite Saoirse Ronan's Lady Bird in Greta Gerwig's Oscar nominated coming of age drama of the same name.
You could even say coming of age roles is in her blood, as her big brother Jonah Hill played Seth in Rogen and Judd Apatow's teen comedy Superbad. Beanie is the star of the upcoming adaptation of Caitlin Moran's novel How To Build A Girl, as well as the TV series of What We Do In The Shadows, and she has a background of singing in Broadway musicals, so if you're not a fan of her already, you will be soon.
Kaitlyn Dever also has been working her way up to leading lady status. From her breakout performance in indie-drama Short Term 12 to her recent roles in drama Beautiful Boy and political drama The Front Runner, Dever is able to ace any movie genre. Booksmart however, is where Dever is truly going to shine as Amy. As Benjamin Lee from The Guardian says, Dever is "set to graduate from her previous, smaller roles into major stardom".
Other recognisable faces in the film include Horrible Bosses actor Jason Sudekis as the exhausted Principal Brown who is ready for Amy and Molly to graduate, plus appearances from Friends star Lisa Kudrow and Nebraska's Will Forte as Amy's supportive parents.
4. It's Olivia Wilde's directorial debut
Behind the camera for Booksmart is actor turned director Olivia Wilde, who you'll know from films such as Tron: Legacy, In Time, The Change-Up, Cowboys & Aliens, Rush and more. Booksmart is Wilde's directorial debut, in which she wanted to create a "generational anthem" that focuses on female friendships, something she feels is important for cinema.
5. It's incredibly quotable
Booksmart is full of quotes ready for memes and responses for group chats. The film has every type of response quote you need, including feminist lines, jokes about school work and a lot of NSFW quotes. Amy and Molly citing "You're my Ride or Die" shows that they have the type of friendship everyone aims for, so make sure you and your best friend see this together.
6. Cineworld Unlimited members love it
Fresh from this week's Cineworld Unlimited screening, people love Booksmart. Here's one such example.
I can thoroughly recommend viewing @BooksmartUK when it goes on general release; a very original take on the American high school coming-of-age movie - funny, gentle, intelligent, emotional. Loved it. Thanks @cineworld for another great #CineworldUnlimited preview.#Booksmart— DeFoo (@dexfoo) May 6, 2019
Check out the rest of the Cineworld Unlimited responses here.
Nadine Shambrook is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.