Female friendship is finally getting its cinematic due. Molly and Amy are two imperfect people who have found a genuine and sincere bond in a way that is reminiscent of Feldstein playing against Saoirse Ronan in Greta Gerwig’s 'Lady Bird'. The two lay in Amy’s childhood bunkbeds and cover a multitude of topics from masturbation to the girl Amy has a crush on and not once is the conversation superficial or toxic, it is simply two young women enjoying the company of one another. It may sound so simple; however, it is still too often that women are written talking down on other women, a theme Amy herself highlights. Watching them just get along and laugh and hype one another up with pep talks about how good the other’s outfit is is what makes this narrative so endearing.
Wilde did an immaculate job of dealing with her ensemble cast, aided by the words of all four women credited as writers; Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins and Katie Silberman. Every character that Molly and Amy met along the way felt fully realised and would be deserving of their own spin-offs, which is incredibly difficult to achieve. Supporting cast members are often victims to their stereotypes but the likes of Hope, Jared and Annabelle all possess subtle nuances which help to paint colourful and detailed personalities that still manage to serve the story of the two leading ladies.
Comedies can so often be laborious with their consistent notion of pushing for laughter which makes them one of the most dangerous genres to tackle. It is so easy to jump at the cheap laugh; a pratfall or two will often do the trick but the writing in 'Booksmart' commits to striking a balance between witticism and physical humour. Watching Feldstein and Dever tackle this challenge, bouncing off one another’s comedic energy for 102 minutes is the great excitement of this film.
Everything just works. The marriage of Wilde’s direction with the words of great women is a dream for two fantastic up and coming actresses who are making wonderful career moves as of late. It is one of the greatest female driven comedies since 'Bridesmaids' and I hope everybody involved continues to burst the door wide open for more pieces like this to be made.