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Booksmart Is Cute, Fun, and the Female Superbad I’ve Always Wanted

Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) in Booksmart.

I fully admit to being one of those teenagers who watched Superbad and loved it. Even now, I still think it’s a hilarious comedy, and I like that we really haven’t seen a movie like it since. That being said, I have often wondered what it would be like if we let women occupy those roles.

For so long, we’ve watched as men (typically young white men), have lived onscreen as teenage boys who are trying to figure out high school graduation and what it means for their future. Sure, we, as women, have movies like Lady Bird, which have heart and humor, but they’re still labeled as a “drama.”

With a movie like Booksmart, we’re essentially getting the dynamic from Superbad but with two female leads, and for a modern audience. So, to say I’m excited would be an understatement.

When Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) come to the end of their senior year, they decide to live the life they’d always wanted. They never went to parties or engaged with their peers because they wanted to make sure they got into their dream colleges. The problem? Those peers who they thought wouldn’t get into college got into the same ones.

So now, Molly and Amy are ready to have the fun they denied themselves of—even if it ends up with them in jail??

The film, which has already screened at SXSW, is hitting audiences in a fun new way, because for once, we’re seeing girls who just … remain uncool.

Critics all seem to love the film, praising Olivia Wilde for her directorial debut, and honestly, it just makes me that much more excited for Booksmart.

This isn’t the first time we’re getting a comedy about women. It isn’t even the first time we’re getting a straightforward comedy set in high school (Blockers comes to mind), but it is setting a tone for the kind of films we want to see, and with a movie like Booksmart, we could start to see the rise of the female buddy film.

And maybe then we could stop labeling movies like Eighth Grade drama? The only thing about that movie that felt like a drama was transporting me back to what it was like being Kayla when I was in the eighth grade.

I cannot wait for Booksmart. It’s the directorial debut of Olivia Wilde and is giving Beanie Feldstein the star turn she deserves after her success in Lady Bird—even if one critic was unaware that her brother is Jonah Hill.

Booksmart hits theaters this May 24th.

(image: screengrab from YouTube/Annapurna)

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She/Her. A writer who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.