2019 Film Reviews – 60: Booksmart [dir. Olivia Wilde; 2019]

Despite its (appropriate?) crudeness, there’s a real charm running all the way through Booksmart — a frenetic account of two American girls deciding, on the eve of their high school graduation, that they have to indulge in at least one night of partying, rule-breaking and all-round debauchery. As they try to fulfil this ambition, they meet a host of increasingly eccentric characters and stumble into some of the most hilarious set-pieces I’ve had the pleasure of seeing in a comedy for a long time. There’s a drug-induced Barbie doll sequence. A thwarted attempt to hijack a pizza delivery car. And a priceless karaoke rendition of Alanis Morissette’s You Oughta Know. The tale may not say anything that hasn’t been said in high school comedies before, but it’s been convincingly and commendably updated to reflect the sexual politics of the current age. A sassy triumph.


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