Olivia Wilde’s Directorial Debut Amazes Critics
May 24, 2019, Olivia Wilde’s feature directorial debut “Booksmart” hit theaters across the United States. This fast-paced, witty coming-of-age story exceeded critic and fan expectations despite underperforming in the box office. Rotten Tomatoes scored the film at a whopping 97%, making it one of the highest rated films of 2019 so far.
Wilde, a producer and activist, surprised audiences with a relatable, successful film crafted by a team of all female writers. Chandler Levack, a Rotten Tomatoes critic, comments that “Booksmart is a love letter for any young woman who has ever stayed home on a Friday night to watch a Ken Burns documentary.” The film, starring Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein, revolves around two academic superstars that have come to face a frightening reality: the students who prioritize their social lives over school also got admitted to the Ivy Leagues the protagonists studied hard to get into. The nerdy best friends are determined to “cram four years of fun into one night,” according to IMDB, and fall face first into a heap of trouble right before graduation.
The film is fresh and original, approaching teenage movie tropes in new and inspiring ways. The story features the perspectives of two underrepresented types of young women and gracefully combines honesty, humor, deep emotion and the unique struggles of girls learning to be individuals. Wilde’s successful debut gives hope to young women who wish to one day share their own unique stories through film and bring light to what can be a pretty confusing transitional period in the life of a teenage girl.