They just have to pick up their diploma and Molly and Amy will finish high school. They were model students but hardly went to any parties, so they hatch the wild plan to redress the imbalance in the last 24 hours they have left. Or at least to create the impression that they work hard but also party hard.
With the enthusiasm, self-deprecation, and militancy of contemporary teenagers, they go completely nuts. The thin plot does not lead to false-sounding life lessons that are not learned anyway. There is no moralizing to spoil the fun. The secondary characters are the stereotypes that populate every American teen film, but Amy and Molly themselves have great personalities. That’s why it’s a pleasure to watch them as they go from one attempt at excess to the next.
This film would have fallen completely flat if it were not for the excellent performances by Kaitlyn Dever (Amy) and Beanie Feldstein (Molly) from Lady Bird. In her directorial debut, Olivia Wilde (House M.D., Tron) finds a balance between tempo, humour, exaggeration, fantasy, and genuine feelings and unconditional friendship. Booksmart is being called Superbad with girls, but that doesn’t do it justice. From now on, Superbad is Booksmart with boys.