Finding An Accurate Version Of My High School Self Through The Film, "Booksmart"

Booksmart is a film about two graduating high school seniors, Molly and Amy, who have spent their entire high school experience studying in order to get into Ivy league schools. Their plan works out, but when Molly discovers that her classmates, who spent more time partying than studying, also got into Ivy league schools, she decides that the she and Amy will finally party the night before graduation.

Overall, the film is very quirky and funny. I appreciated the fact that for once, the teenagers on screen actually seem normal. The students are an eclectic group of people who are interested in drama, fool around during class, or spend their time buried in books. It reminded me of my high school. I was excited to see representation of what teenagers are actually like, instead of the cliché films where the mean girls date the quarterbacks and pick on the girls who don’t fit into their idea of what's “cool.” One of the few unrealistic aspects of the movie is the fact that all the students who fooled around instead of studying also end up getting into some of the best universities in the country. However, I was accepting of it because I knew it was one of the main points that drove the plot of the film.

The characters are raw in the sense that they all have their own flaws. Often, some teenagers are portrayed as perfect beings who never seem to think beyond high school. But, Booksmart shows a group of students who are far from perfect and far from knowing what to do with their lives...but at least have a plan beyond high school. Whether it is through awkward scenes about losing one’s virginity or weird high school party scenes, the overall message about the beauty in how imperfect life can be is not lost.

My favorite part about the film was the fact that for once, I saw myself in a movie. I remember being that high school girl who studied for every test and watched everyone else go to parties and enjoy their teenage years. Although I was not envious, because I hoped my hard work would pay off someday, I was a little regretful about never taking more time to have fun and enjoy everything going on around me. In that sense, the movie hit very close to my memories and feelings, which made me feel bittersweet. I was happy to see two strong female characters be unapologetic about their personalities and their hard work, while still acknowledging that there is more to life than reading every book and making note cards to do well in school.