Monday, July 22, 2019

This is not a time to celebrate.

Outside of my nephew, I don't really get the chance to talk to high school kids all that much, and to be quite honest, I'm more than okay with that. 

Typically, they're either shiftless drifters or goal-oriented weirdos, inhabiting each end of the almost adult spectrum with inherent cluelessness. The slackers don't care how much they don't know while the go-getters are certain they know everything. Either way, as an adult, you're either pulling teeth to get them to talk, or pulling your hair out hoping they'll shut the f--k up. 

And even worse, is knowing that at one point in your life, you were just like them.

(and look at you now!)

While I wasn't outright slayed by Booksmart like I assumed I would be, instead this flick is the comedy equivalent of a death by a thousand cuts. Consistently hilarious (and at times, just f--king brilliant), this coming-of-age flick features amazing performances top-to-bottom, but with especially killer turns from leads Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein. And in the crowded sub-genre of end of high school flicks, Booksmart somehow raises an already high bar even higher.

Molly and Amy have seriously kicked ass in high school. Not only have they been involved in everything, they've excelled, and, when we meet them, are one day away from graduating at the top of their class. Unfortunately, all the academic perfection has come at a cost, as this dynamic duo has never f--ked up or around. But at least they got into great colleges, right? Yeah, did everyone else. 

This jarring realization leads the girls on a quest to have four years of fun in what amounts to one helluva night. Molly is looking to hook up with Nick, the handsome jock she's secretly had a crush on for years. Amy, infinitely more introverted than Molly, would be cool if she could hang with Ryan, a skater-chick she has a thing for. If only they had the address to Nick's house, where the big party is going to be held.

(by the way, we (or should I say they?) called them ragers...which sounds so f--king lame now, huh? [though I recall certain east coasters saying rippers which is surprisingly less cool, if that's possible).

No lie, this is probably the ideal way to start any day, let alone the last day of high school.
(oh, and don't sleep on Amy's [right] dance moves, either - damnnnn)
Not all that long into their evening, Molly and Amy's whole mission goes tits up, and everything that could possibly go wrong does. Nick, perhaps shockingly, turns out to be a pretty good dude, as does Ryan, but let's just say it's not Molly nor Amy they're into. And even if our ladies have learned just about everything one could in high school, turns out there's at least one important lesson left. No, not the one with the stuffed panda...though that was a bit...revelatory, I'm thinking the one about friendship instead.

Speaking of things I wish I had more of as an adult (the friendship not the panda ( times), here are the Yays and Boos. It might not seem like all that much, but this will be my fourth post in July. Hot-damn, right? Too bad I saw this f--ker in (early) June.

This guy looks so much like my freshmen roommate...
...I felt obligated to help him make a 'whack shack'.
  • Man, I need some daily affirmations in my life. And f--k those losers is easily one I could get behind.
  • As solid as the leads are, AAA and the two theater dudes are equally awesome.
  • Why are the soundtracks to every movie like this so f--king badass?
  • Though still not the gold standard of Stone's parents in Easy A [review], Kudrow and Forte are a top 5 parental duo. Uh, easily.
  • Red jumpsuits are bad (per Us [review]. But blue jumpsuits? Sooooo good.
  • In five years, I'll probably hate that they called Malala (as a teacher who will surely cover her in class), but now? That shit's magical.
  • Uh, the Pizza Guy was pretty f--king awesome (and in my mind he's totally Murray Bauman, even if he isn't), right? At least...initially.
  • In high school we had not one, but two Ms. Fines, Mrs. Wells and Ms. Hacker. Both young, both rather attractive...and both super chill. And they both lived together. *blacks out* Anyway...what? You were saying...?
  • Goddamn, I wish I had a friend who would hype my, Molly/Amy-style. They were soooo supportive (I really dug how much they had each other's backs...guys are just like niiiice! when attempting something akin to flattery)
  • Imaginary or not, holy shit that was a great dance number.
  • Yep, I'm way jealous that you f--kers get to get down with some Alanis karaoke (even though she's totally out of your teenage pay grade, you know?). 
  • Aw, that speech was was that kiss. These two are the best (I'll let you figure out which pair I'm talking about).
  • Molly seems like a damn shoo-in for MVP, right? But, guys. I'm thinking it's actually Amy. Even if all the shit she says wasn't hilarious, I'm pretty sure just her face is pure f--king comedic gold. Always.
  • I'm convinced that's how all credits should be done. Horror movie? Balloons to the face. Period piece starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon? Balloons. TO THE FAAAAACE.
  • And finally, as much as this is a film about Molly and Amy, I gotta be that guy that loved Jared the most. This character is supposed to be shitty and/or entirely unbelievable, but he's the f--king nicest dude ever. I just kept waiting for this kid to be a creeper or whatever, but nope - Jared just f--king rules all day, every day. Oh, and seven million bonus points are awarded for the fact that he's basically Andrew Kuzma 2.0 (my kickass roommate from QU).
Coolest shit that ever happened in our hallway?
Nik Gindler opening the Coke machine up. With his hands.
(worst thing: Mike Sasaki smearing his own shit on the walls)

  • In my high school, we got demerits for f--king up. Skipping class? Demerit. Coming back from lunch high? Demerit. In four years, I got one demerit. I knocked on a classroom door and ran. (the teacher was leaning on the door, so all she had to do was crack it open and see me gleefully shuffling away like an a-hole)
  • Put a bag over her personality?Ouch.
  • Can you really get FUKBOI as a personalized license plate? Uh...asking for a friend.
  • Was that Cardi B? God, it sucks getting old, right?
  • What was with that doll sequence? And why is it now the setting for all of my nightmares?
  • NoooooooooooOoooooOOOOoo!! I did NOT see THAT coming.
  • When people got into it when I was in high school, I swear, most people would look away. You poor souls these days have a fight with a friend...and everybody records it. 
  • Much like in actual high school (maybe Christmas break, senior year), there is a point, if even just for a minute, where this one tends to drag a bit. 
  • Regretfully, I've never had a lesbian encounter in the bathroom of someone else's house, but if I ever do...well..let's just say I hope it goes better.
  • And finally, I get it, I think...but did they always have to mention Olivia Wilde when promoting this film? It's cool as Hell that she directed a flick this rad, but something about the way her name was attached to every bit of marketing kind of rubbed me the wrong way. It got to the point where I was expecting her face to be on the poster, you know?

If I remember myself in high school, the only thing that stands out is that I often said the wrong thing at the wrong time. Never anything too bad, and I typically meant well, but I just look back and think about some of the things I said, and wow, I was quite the f--king dunce.

So in that regard, spending time with Molly and Amy really brought me back. Sitting there with my wife along side me, it's a good thing I finally grew up, and stopped sounding like an idiot at all possible times. And as we walked out of the theater, she asked me if I enjoyed the movie.

Oh yeah. I saw myself in those high school girls. Like, a lot of myself in them.


  1. Your opening is PERFECT! Having raised 3 of my own and being fairly close to 8 nieces and nephews, all having gone through or currently in HS, I can attest to them all being EXACTLY the way you describe them.

    I like the movie but didn't quite love it. Felt like I've seen it all before, only this one had a lesbian. Still pretty damn good, though.

    And the panda? Let's just say I have been looking sideways at and avoiding the dozens of stuffed animals in my house for weeks.

    1. The only thing worse than a high school kid is a middle school kid, and you know how I feel about those...angels.

      I think with all high school movies, we have definitely 'seen it before'. I guess a 'good' one comes about once every ten years or so, meaning I'm just happy to revisit the new version of an old friend (not sure that makes sense).

      HAHAHAHAHAHA that last bit, Dell. HAHAHAHA....

  2. I hated this movie so much. Made me despise kids these days even more. And yeah Wilde and the constant applauding that she directed a movie, it is a wonder she didnt pop up from bushes but she still stuck her husband in this thing

    1. I'm not sure I could actually despise kids more than I already do (I'm kidding [I'm not]), so this movie didn't move that particular needle in the least.

      The Wilde stuff was too much. Not that I *really* mind seeing her everywhere...

  3. I'm with the minority on this one. I found myself straining to find anything that original about it. I felt so much of the effort was wasted on being Superbad 2.0. I ended up pretty frustrated with it.

    1. That's fair, actually, as it was very much Superbad 2.0. Honestly, I was okay with that. I think I liked the two leads enough (and that goofy nice kid) to brush off any lack of originality, you know?

  4. I feel like I just re-lived the whole film through this review. Loved reading your take on it!! I'm a big fan (of Booksmart and this blog--almost equally!)

    1. Yeah...I tend to ramble on and on, so I imagine it could be like sitting through it again - yikes! I really, really liked it, as it reminds me of the good old days when I wasn't ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED by high school kids...f'n Euphoria.

      Thanks, as always, elina k. Glad you dig it. Er, dug it. (both the flick...and the blog)

  5. I can't say I found this consistently funny, but I definitely agree it stands out of the genre and is memorable and fun. But it didn't really make me laugh at all, though not much does =/

    1. I rarely laugh out loud at the movies, but this one definitely had me smiling almost the whole time. I'm looking forward to seeing it again.

      Soooo...what would be an example of a go-to comedy for you?