When a film which is primarily aimed at teens and young people earns plenty of notice after it screens at SXSW then does well in theatres and finally has Oscar nomination buzz around it, you have to sit up and take notice. The fact that it was also a first film as director for actress Olivia Wilde and starred “it” young actresses Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Devers made it a must see film for me.
Plus you get the added bonus of veteran comedic actors like Jason Sudekis, Lisa Kudrow and Will Forte rounding out the cast.
After watching it I have to say it does not disappoint. Smart, funny, touching, and filled with great music. Highly rewatchable. Just to catch all the great dialogue. Think a mix of Superbad and a John Hughes film from the 80s.
Two best friends who are academic stars have been booksmart types rather than partiers throughout high school are now on the cusp of graduating. When Molly (Beanie Feldstein – Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Lady Bird) finds out that her getting into Yale is not such a big deal when several of her classmates who she considered to be inferior students have also got into good schools.
This news knocks her for a loop. She tells BFF Amy (Kaitlyn Dever – Beautiful Boy, Detroit) that they really missed the bus when it came to having fun. So, Molly insists that the two go to the big year end party. Easier said than done!
You truly care about the characters here. Even the prickly Molly. They are ably and realistically portrayed by the two actresses and the characters are not overly stereotypical.
The thing about coming of age films is that they can be done over and over and the good ones don’t feel tired. Everyone, except the very young, can relate to them. Here you, no matter your age, don’t feel like an outsider as it does not try to be overly smart. Too smart for its own good.
-Audio Commentary by Olivia Wilde
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