Booksmart – Uproariously Heartfelt

Director: Olivia Wilde

Writers: Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, and Katie Silberman

Producers: Chelsea Barnard, David Distnfeld, Jessica Elbaum, Megan Ellison, Will Ferrell, Nancy Kirhoffer, Jillian Longnecker, Adam McKay, Scott Robertson, Alex G. Scott, and Katie Silberman.

Starring: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Jessica Williams, Jason Sudeikis, Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte, Victoria Ruesga, Mason Gooding, Skyler Gisondo, Diana Silvers, Molly Gordon, Billie Lourd, Eduardo Franco, Nico Hiraga, Austin Crute, Noah Galvin, Michael Patrick O’Brien

"BOOKSMART" World Premiere - SXSW Film Festival - Austin, TX


An absolutely wild, insane, outrageous, side-splittingly hilarious ride, yet one with a deeply rich, honest, genuine emotional core, all made possible by the magnificent performances of Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein.


An incredible supporting cast contributed their immense talents as well, notably a marvelously ludicrous performance from Billie Lourd, and the clueless charisma of Skyler Gisondo.



A superb directorial debut from Olivia Wilde, assisted by excellent writing and a cohesive screenplay. The gimmicky, absorbing cinematography (Jason McCormick) and the stellar editing (Jamie Gross) coincided with a killer soundtrack, a supplemental original score from Dan The Automator, and sublime music supervision (headed by Bryan Ling, and music editors Allegra De Souza/Louie Schultz). With more than 40 songs on the soundtrack, ranging from Handsome Boy Modeling School’s 1999 hop-hop/rap track “Holy Calamity [Bear Witness II],” to Alanis Morissette’s 1995 alternative pop-rock tune “You Oughta Know,” to Ludwig van Beethoven and Istvan Szekely’s 1801 masterful composition “Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2,” each song is expertly woven into the narrative to further complement the tones, moods, and actions in the story.


This is clearly an outright passion project from Wilde, and her true vision delivered everything for which one could hope. At its essence, this is the story of two young women who have their lifelong friendship tried, tested, and weakened, yet reinforced, strengthened, and further developed, all over the course of one night. High schoolers, college students, and young women and men from all backgrounds will surely be able to relate and identify with these themes and messages.


While this film is certainly not for everybody, with its explicit humor and strong language, the target audience will likely adore this movie. Similar to classics like The Breakfast Club or American Graffiti, people will be look at the characters and situations in these movies and recognize them as remarkably similar to people or events from their own lives. At the end of the day, this was the ultimate goal of Olivia Wilde and the rest of the filmmakers, and they hit the target perfectly.

Grade: A


One thought on “Booksmart – Uproariously Heartfelt

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s