High School… some of the best and worst years of a young person's life has been the backdrop for so many movies throughout history. Time and time again we see the stereotypical characters – the jocks, the popular girls, the nerds, the druggies, etc. all exploring and experimenting as they learn valuable life lessons and gain personal growth. With so many coming of age stories already told you may wonder what could be done differently to make for a fresh tale. Even with common themes, Booksmart manages to do just that in a fun yet poignant film. Out now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD, it is a film every teenager (and a few adults) will want to own.
Molly (Beanie Feldstein; Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever; Justified) have been best friends since kindergarten. They spent high school with their heads in their books, always studying and learning so they could earn the best grades possible to get into the top colleges in the country. It seems their sacrifice paid off as they are about to graduate Valedictorian and Salutatorian and they are headed to Yale and Columbia respectively. Their peers always saw them as snobby and nerdy which was fine with them until the last day of Senior year when they discovered that their contemporaries also got into top-notch colleges even though they didn't study as hard and partied throughout high school.
Feeling as if maybe they missed out on the ‘true" high school experience the girls are determined to get to Nick's (Mason Gooding; Ballers) party and experience everything hadn't for the past four years. Along the way, they have a few adventures and learn some things about their classmates opening their eyes to the idea that they shouldn't always judge a book by its cover. Conversely, their classmates see Molly and Amy in a whole new light.
Even though this is Olivia Wilde's (Tron: Legacy) directorial debut she does an excellent job with the pacing of the movie and at no point does the story drag. She also put together a terrific cast of young actors who have incredible on-camera chemistry. Feldstein and Dever are believable as best friends who are always the smart girls in the room. Skyler Gisondo (The Amazing Spider-Man) is great as the rich kid looking to buy his friends' affection and Billie Lourd (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) brings some laughs as the wild, druggie, party, hippie girl.
The Booksmart Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition video quality with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The colors are full and rich and the details are sharp and clean. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 showcases the audio beautifully especially the soundtrack. The bass can be felt from the opening sequences and the music and dialogue are well balanced throughout. The combo pack offers a few extras including:
- Deleted Scenes
- Booksmart: The Next 'Best High School Comedy'
- Pliés and Jazz Hands: The Dance Fantasy
- Dressing Booksmart
While Booksmart may seem like the typical teenager, high school, coming of age story, there is so much underneath the surface. It is about self-exploration and opening one's eyes to not only to new possibilities but also to the people around us that we see every day but never truly "see". There are definitely lessons to be learned, even for someone my age but those lessons never come across as preachy or condescending.
On the surface, Booksmart may seem as if this is just another teen movie but I can assure it is not and it certainly can be enjoyed by everyone who sees it.