A week ago, I went to see the film Booksmart at the cinema. I’ve been wanting to see it for a while – just because it looked fun and a lot of people were comparing it to Superbad. I also like supporting indie films every now and again, especially since they are often underrated.
At the beginning, the film seemed kind of cringey. One woman walked out within the first ten minutes (although if she’d seen the trailer she would have known that it was targeted at a younger audience) and there were parts where I felt myself thinking: wow this is like any other high school movie. However, the film definitely got better as it went along.
What I loved about the film was that it was actually from the perspective of two high school students who weren’t popular. You see these in films all the time but they are often not given the primary focus, so I thought this was a nice change. I loved the character development of the two main characters as well; they had distinct personalities and I could imagine them as real people – in fact, I see a lot of parts of people I know within them. There were some moments that were trying too hard to be funny, which ultimately let it down, but there were other moments that were genuinely laugh out loud.
I definitely think this is one of those films that you really have to go into open-minded and give it a full chance to get out of it what you want. There were actually some scenes that had beautiful cinematography. For example, when one of the girls jumped in the pool and then walked through the crowded house, with all the voices muted out and a focus on the slow steady beat of the music and the perception of the character. I really felt this one. There was also an argument that had a similar muted effect and the acting in particular here was very good. There were moments where it could have been cliche, but it opted out and I was so glad it did.
Whilst this is hardly one of the best films I’ve ever seen, there was definitely a uniqueness to it that is hard to pinpoint. I feel like the characters will stay with me long after the ending and that, in itself, is a success.