Of the half-dozen movies I’ve seen during Austin’s South by Southwest so far (including Jordan Peele’s Us — review forthcoming), the longest post-screening standing ovation went to Booksmart. Olivia Wilde’s splendid directorial debut, with a script from Katie Silberman (Set It Up), follows two straight-laced high school seniors (Justified‘s Kaitlyn Dever and Lady Bird‘s Beanie Feldstein) who decide to let loose and have A Night to Remember before graduation.
It’s a teen-movie premise we’ve seen a million times before, but what makes Booksmart so fun and fresh is how it constantly finds new angles on female friendship. Dever and Feldstein are fantastic, while rest of the cast, including Billie Lourd, Noah Galvin, Will Forte, Jason Sudeikis, and Jessica Williams, imbue their characters with enough personality to make them stand out in a crowded ensemble. Strong Superbad vibes, with a hint of Broad City. See it.
Here’s the official plot synopsis.
Told from a wildly original, fresh and modern perspective, Booksmart is an unfiltered comedy about high school best friends and the bonds we create that last a lifetime. Capturing the spirit of our times, the film is a coming of age story for a new generation.
Booksmart opens May 24.