WARNING: Media-Wise Parents Should Avoid This Teen Comedy
NOTE: BOOKSMART is now available for digital download. This is a portion of our review of BOOKSMART. For the full review, including a breakdown of content, violence, sex, language and nudity, click here.
BOOKSMART is the story of two ultra-smart high school girls who decide on the night before graduation to finally indulge in all the bad behavior they missed out on in four years of avoiding parties. BOOKSMART is only sporadically entertaining and has a strong immoral, pagan worldview with strong Anti-Christian, politically correct, feminist, and pro-homosexual elements.
The movie follows Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever), lifelong best friends who have spent their entire four years of high school avoiding any semblance of partying or a social life besides each other. On the day before graduation, Molly overhears some classmates saying they wish they could have gotten to know her or have sex with her. Molly realizes that these classmates also have made it into Ivy League schools, despite the fact they have fully indulged in partying throughout high school.
Furious that she’s forced herself to miss out on everything her peers find fun in life, Molly challenges Amy to go to the biggest graduation party of the entire school that night. As they frantically wind up at two wrong addresses – an empty yacht where the richest geek in class tries and fails to throw a bash, and a hilariously bizarre murder mystery party thrown by the theatre club – the girls get ever more desperate to get to the real party with no address even though they are able to watch epically unfold in real-time streaming.
When they finally get to the right place, events escalate in some pretty wild and inventive ways. However, the movie also takes its portrayal of teenage partying and the sadly PC mindsets of brainwashed millennials to new extremes that might leave viewers wondering how low movies can go.
In perhaps the movie’s most vile scene, Amy (who came out as a lesbian two years before but has never acted on that inclination) winds up having a sexual encounter on the floor of the house party’s bathroom with a girl she just learned is also lesbian. The scene is portrayed for full sensuality, with slow passionate kisses and sensual music, until Amy is told that she’s doing the position wrong and, in her mortification over the mistake, projectile vomits on the other girl. Rest assured, this movie’s determination to make a teenage lesbian relationship happen results in the girls exchanging numbers the next day.
Past popular teen movies like John Hughes’ SIXTEEN CANDLES and WEIRD SCIENCE, or the amoral AMERICAN PIE trilogy, have glorified teenage sex, as well as alcohol and marijuana usage. However, in the Hughes movies, there were often lessons to be learned and, ultimately, pure or relatively pure love won out. The same goes for Judd Apatow’s SUPERBAD, where two teenage male nerds try to lose their virginity with girls amid a wild night of partying yet find themselves wind up starting a proper courtship with girls they truly find interesting.
BOOKSMART not only flips the genders on SUPERBAD by making its two main protagonists teenage girls. It also largely focuses on not only shredding the envelope of acceptable behavior, but also making it seem like all basic values have gone down the drain. It also makes an insidious point throughout the story of having the lead girls spout PC phrases and talking points, further shoving an obvious agenda on the movie’s intended teenage viewing audience. Among these running gags are Amy’s parents, who are portrayed as cluelessly happy Christians who also defy logic by not only embracing what they wrongly assume is a lesbian relationship between their daughter and Molly, but encouraging it. It’s a stupid and extremely annoying portrayal of Christian parents.
Most maddening of all is the fact that, since BOOKSMART is directed and written by women, it is being sold to impressionable young minds as a strongly feminist movie. Yet, when the lead girls’ transformation is to simply indulge in every base instinct they can find, it’s obvious that there’s a more insidious agenda at play here where female “empowerment” is defined by immorality.
Executive Producers Will Ferrell and Adam McKay have built a lengthy list of box office successes that are often crass but usually stay within PG-13 boundaries. But their biggest flop to date came in producing a barely-seen movie called THE VIRGINITY HIT that followed four teenage boys trying to lose their virginity while being videotaped by the others, before taking a “hit” from a marijuana bong to celebrate their sexual conquests. One would think that this pair of producers, and the studios that finance them, would have learned a lesson from the experience of making an extremely immoral topic the basis of a movie for teenagers movie, but apparently not.
The actors throughout BOOKSMART deliver energetic performances that occasionally draw laughs and show promise for future stardom. Aside from the acting and very sporadic flashes of true wit, BOOKSMART is one movie that all viewers would be smart to avoid, especially media-wise parents and children.