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Booksmart

Bokksmart

By Joanna Langfield

Olivia Wilde’s coming of ager is full of heart, lol laughs and, not so coincidentally, smarts.

The joyous Beanie Feldstein and marvelous Kaitlyn Dever headline as two nose-to-the-grindstone highschoolers, facing the graduation they’ve both earned and feared. Accidentally discovering some of their hard-partying classmates also, somehow, made it into top colleges, our heroines face a crisis of confidence. Should they have been more, gulp, fun? Should they have, double gulp, had more fun? Well, it’s not too late. There’s hours to go before the actual ceremony. Time to par-tay!

The all-female team of screenwriters (Emily Halpern, Susanna Fogel, Sarah Haskins and Katie Silberman) combines traditional wackiness with some very funny moments of true emotion and modern day understanding. For every ‘we’ve seen this before’ bit there’s something like the school principal driving Uber for the cash. And whoever wrote the almost throwaway line about the Thursday crossword puzzle is in my heart forever. As a debuting director, Wilde brings out the very best in her impressive roster of actors. You can’t help but fall in love a little bit with Skyler Gisondo and plunge big time for Billie Lourd (yes, Carrie Fisher’s daughter), who secures her own stardom by literally throwing her hilarious self into each and every scene she steals in this winning treat.

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