3 Important Lessons from Booksmart

Molly, played by Beanie Feldstein from Lady Bird, and her friend Amy, played by Kaitlyn Dever from Unbelievable, arrive on the last day of high school proud they remained focused on their goals, relying on somewhat austere practices (not attending a single party, ever!) to get into top colleges—Yale and Columbia, respectively. Molly perceives her classmates to be unintelligent losers frivolous with their time, until she has the shattering realization that they, too, are going to the Ivy League. 

  1. 1. Your life should not be consumed by your goals.

    Molly remarks to three of her classmates in an awkward bathroom encounter that they don’t seem to care about school, when one of them points out that they don’t only care about school. This is the pivotal moment of the movie, which leads to an honest and heated conversation between Amy and Molly over their regrets about high school -- they failed to have fun.

  2. 2.  You don’t necessarily benefit from following the rules

    With their futures extensively planned but their identities still uncertain, Amy and Molly set out to make up for lost time and establish a name for themselves in the remaining hours of high school. This is the point where they hatch a plan for the night, finally settling on the goal of attending a classmate’s party to pursue their love interests and show how fun they can be.

  3. 3. People are so much more than they seem to be


    Not knowing the address of the party, they take many detours, running into their classmates along the way. They both quickly realize that just like everyone assumed them to be “goody two shoes,” many of their classmates also had inaccurate stereotypes and a similar desire to be known for who they are.

Olivia Wilde’s debut film featuring two smart and relatable female leads through a modern lens seamlessly integrates racial and sexual diversity and all the quirks expected of a high school comedy. It also explores identity in finding oneself and reminds us of just how inaccurate others’ perceptions of us can be, while successfully making the case for living a passionate life outside of school and work.