In 2019, ‘having fun’ involves a crucial mission to make sure the entire world sees you having fun. Shy students make sure cool kids can take notice, and it’s a truly euphoric thrill to experience this anxiety deployed with so much joy in Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart. Faking it sometimes works, as shy pre-teen Kayla learns from behind her Instagram filters in Eighth Grade, while Lady Bird attempts to reshape the definition of ‘cool’ through the titular protagonist’s own woke politics and heartening confessions under the sheets.
But in Booksmart, FOMO urges Molly (Feldstein) and Amy (Dever) – an overachieving valedictorian and a headstrong queer feminist – to prove their unapologetic confidence in a freewheeling mission to make their good night look, and genuinely feel, like the best time for everyone. “Nobody knows we’re fun,” Molly explains. “They need to know.”
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