Booksmart ★★★

The longer I think about this movie the more I forget of the great chemistry between the leads, riotously exaggerated supporting performances and occasional glimpses of truth and the more I am weighed down by the stunning disconnect that the film has with its own subconscious. Molly and Amy's grating teen liberalism could make a great foundation for a gentle but pointed poking at strident but narrow-minded teen preciousness, but at no point does the film suggest that absolute cringe like their safe word being "Malala" is proof not of their maturity but their lack thereof.

Likewise, the lesson of Molly, who come from a modest apartment home and studies her ass off to get into an Ivy League only to find out all her rich goof-off friends got in too, is not that she focused too hard on work but that she had to work 10 times as hard to get what her peers got handed to them. Class, maybe the single most potent subject of comedy, is bafflingly ignored in a film where losers with no friends can casually rent an entire yacht for an unattended party or the annoying theater kid can force his parents to let him use their multi-storey house to stage a murder mystery. Such lavish displays act as mere backdrops, and as genuinely funny as the scenes are, the film feels bereft, missing the keener critical eye that might have made up for the awkward tonal position somewhere between a quasi-attempt to capture real teen life and an adult's assessment of it.

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