I instantly fell in love with the Olivia Wilde-directorial debut when I first saw Booksmart during the SXSW world premiere.
It should come as no surprise that I decided to see the film a second time during one of the Chicago press screenings. The jokes held up upon second viewing and reinforced my love for this film. I already made the decision that I would be returning for a third round over the long Memorial Day weekend. Listen, this film–like many indie films–needs the support.
I’ve been talking up the film–starring Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever–since SXSW. There’s a reason for this. It’s a classic high school comedy. When all is said and done, Booksmart will be listed along the likes of Clueless, Mean Girls, and more.
Movie-going habits have certainly changed over the years. Films that would have been a sold $100 million blockbuster no longer get support at the box office. There’s no telling how Set It Up, The Kissing Booth, or To All The Boys I’ve Loved would have done. There’s no telling how these films would have done in theaters. Given that Netflix doesn’t really release numbers, we’ll never know for sure.
The initial estimates show a weak $6.5 million from 2,505 theaters for 6th place this weekend. While it’s understandable for families to take their children to see a “meh” Aladdin, Booksmart is the film that is once-in-a-generation. It’s also an original film about best friends on the eve of high school graduation. What’s not to like about this?!? Billie Lourd steals every scene she’s in and could very well earn herself a Best Supporting Actress nomination. She’s THAT GOOD in the film!
I don’t know whether the problem lies in Annapurna’s marketing or people simply not caring. All I know is that I know an instant classic when I see one. This is such a film. My cap is off to Olivia Wilde for hitting it out of the ballpark in her feature directorial debut.
If you don’t want to take my word for it, then please listen to Ryan Reynolds!
BOOKSMART. Don’t walk, RUN to see this. Today and all summer. Holy shit. pic.twitter.com/IV2coaiDpr
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) May 26, 2019