Olivia Wilde and the Stars of Booksmart Explain Why Today’s Youth Deserve a “Generational Anthem”
The ambitious first-time director sets out to make a high school comedy for the ages.
There are a plethora of high school movies that have reached cult status because they can take you back to a specific time and place, like Clueless, The Breakfast Club and Dazed and Confused.
Booksmart seeks to be that special something for this generation.
The film is a love letter to long-lasting friendships. The movie opens with the leads, Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein), hyping each other up and goofing around with dance moves before the last day of their senior year. The two comically roast one another throughout the movie as a form of motivation, each pushing the other one toward her particular goal. The theme is best expressed by Feldstein as she describes her character: “I relate to Molly's intense love and loyalty to her best friend. I'm obsessed with my best friends and getting to portray this person that was just totally in love and celebrates this other woman that's next to her — and how they build each other up — was really important to me,” she shared with CHICA. The actress plays Molly, the controlling, type-A overachiever whose assertive and cocky attitude is best compared to Tracy Flick from the instant classic Election.
In most coming-of-age storylines, the nerdy main characters are the losers who want to be cool, so they go through a series of makeovers in order to snag their love interest — this is not that kind of movie. Instead, the two best friends are the overachieving students who could care less about parties and popularity because they are committed to books and getting into the ivy leagues, but they realize that those who partied also got into those same colleges.
So, what should two intelligent gen-Zer's on the brink of their final high school day do? Well, wild out, of course! What follows is an unforgettable night that includes Molly attempting to get Amy, whose an inexperienced lesbian, laid by her girl crush.
Olivia Wilde's directorial debut did not disappoint, but why this story? Why now — specifically?
“I think it was time to make Booksmart now because this generation is so awesome, involved, fluid, and smart — that I wanted to make them a generational anthem that they could watch and rewatch and see themselves in,” Wilde shared with CHICA.The proud new director can't stop gushing about her Booksmart experience and hopes that her excitement transfers to the viewership: “This cast makes me happy. This movie makes me happy. I love showing it to audiences, because it makes them dance and laugh and cry and call their best friend.”