There are so many fresh, natural angles the medium hasn’t even come close to visualising, and directors like Olivia Wilde, are leading the way to these being considered as the norm
A theme 2019 has highlighted beautifully, is the lack of respect women’s cinema genuinely receives. With films like Booksmart and The Kindergarten Teacher, there is a real core of quality that seems to be overlooked by much of the larger community. But Booksmart does seem to be different; not completely, but its certainly outsmarted the categorising of films based on and created by, a predominantly female group. It’s comedic style, similar to that of Greg Mottala’s Superbad, has been transformed for a modern audience, becoming part of a process that needs to be captured and multiplied, simply because it works so well.
But Booksmart has a savvy streetwise edge that leaves it powering ahead of anything even remotely like it, even if there is only little. It’s a wonderfully unique portrayal of modern life for young women in a developed country, and it’s hilarious take on that gives thoroughly rewarding results. Most of this is fuelled by an excellent Kaytlin Dever and Beanie Feldstein as they characterise a generation without seeming overly processed, backed equally by a sharp and empathetic script.
Booksmart is wonderfully quick witted, and that allows its story to zip past, letting the sharp comedy and gleeful understanding of teenage life take hold, without seeming fake in the way so many teenage recreations actualise. It latches onto a similar notion The Inbetweeners loved to push, focusing on ordinary people with delightful quirks. Too often does cinema idolise and forge its characters, forgetting that relatability can often make or break for a character.
Admittedly, Booksmart may not have been made, even five years ago, but forms part of the female revolution cinema was so desperate for. There are so many fresh, natural angles the medium hasn’t even come close to visualising, and directors like Olivia Wilde, are leading the way to these being considered as the norm.
It’s a gear shift and an opening, and Booksmart ticks all of the right boxes for what modern cinema should be. A devotion to its characters and its story, however they appear or act, with a real love for what the artform can do for societal viewpoints and a passion for creating a truly great feature.
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