By INDIA KRUG – Move over The Breakfast Club, there’s a new rallying cry for the modern teenager and it comes in the form of Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart. The wonderfully weird coming-of-age story is led by protagonists Amy and Molly who enter their senior year at the start of the film.
The multiple-language speaking, politically active duo anticipate graduating as the top two of their class and attending Ivys. A previous arrangement made by the school prevents students from sharing the colleges they were admitted to. The pair assume they have the most impressive plans, justifying four years of prioritizing work over fun.
But their excitement is interrupted when they learn that their classmates, who had appeared to ignore their responsibilities, were accepted to universities of the same calibre. Upon them interrogating a particularly zany student about where she was going, she replied,“It was my fifth choice: Harvard.” This causes them to question whether their levels of anxiety were worth it, and decide to spend their last nights of senior year making up for lost time.
Junior Sara Kane says, “While I do like watching classic teen and high school movies, I don’t think they’re always accurate to what it’s like to be a teen. Sixteen Candles— that’s a favorite of mine.”
This parable of the pop-quiz princesses discusses today’s high school environment and how it contains maybe a few more panic attacks than necessary. Wilde’s use of the extreme was only successful when coupled with the authenticity that stemmed from the two heroines. Both are conscientious and motivated, despite experiencing growing pains.
Many students are able to relate to Amy and Molly’s desire to excel. Senior Brooke Boyer comments, “I’ve been really excited about applying to colleges. Time really flies by and it’s crazy to think I’ll be going to college next year.”
The importance of an on-screen female friendship crafted by a female director cannot be understated. Senior Connor McQuaide states, “In a lot of workplaces, there are gender disparities, and Hollywood is no different. I believe that both men and women should be equally respected in the movie industry.”
Booksmart joins the ranks of Greta Gerwig’s Ladybird with its eccentric interpretation of twelfth grade tribulations, specifically those shared by young women. And the fact is, these narratives are needed more than ever.
[Photos courtesy of Erik Puskar]
Photo Caption: “Like Amy and Molly, IHS students arrive for their first day of school.”
India is a senior and a third year reporter and associate editor for the High Arrow. High school journalism is important to her because it is dangerous to be uninformed. As a part of the High Arrow staff, she is able to grow as a writer while learning from her peers and those in the field.